The expense of cheese ripening arises principally from the inventory cost associated with holding a large amount of cheese in storage and the capital cost of providing a ripening facility adequate to hold sufficient cheese during ripening.
Traditionally, cheese was ripened in caves or cellars, probably at 15-20°C for much of the year.
Since the introduction of mechanical refrigeration for cheese-ripening rooms in the 1940s, the use of a controlled ripening temperature has become normal practice in modern factories.
Ripening usually involves the softening of cheese texture, as a consequence of the hydrolysis of the casein matrix, changes in the water-binding of the curd and changes in pH.
Cheese reacts by a hydrolytic denaturation through various stages, which can take place simultaneously, proceeding until the stage of basic molecules, i.e. amino acid.
During ripening, cheese flavor develops due to the production of a wide range of sapid compounds by the biochemical pathways.
Ripening of cheese