Why is humidity control important for cheese production?

Careful control of humidity, temperature and air circulation is critical to the successful development of most cheeses.  In general, a warm, moist environment is required, in combination with the appropriate range of acidity, moisture content and salt content in the cheese.

Typical RH levels are maintained between 75-95%, with temperature held in a range of 10-13⁰C for cheese to age properly. Cold storage refrigeration (3-4.5⁰C) is kept at around 65% RH.

Steam humidifiers are often the solution the production of cheese, but adiabatic humidifiers may also be appropriate and have the added advantage of offering ‘free cooling’.  In some circumstances it may be dehumidification which is required to remove excessive moisture during the drying, ripening or storage of cheese.

Benefits include:

  • Improve quality and maintain consistency of product
  • Reduce wastage
  • ‘Free’ cooling from adiabatic systems
  • Controllable environment
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