Equipment for cheese ripening: which to choose?

Guide to the choice of equipment for cheese ripening essential for achieving quality results

Tuesday 16 April 2024

Ripening is a crucial phase in the cheese production process because it is the one in which all the biochemical transformations take place that allow to give the final product a characteristic appearance, taste and texture. The intensity and duration of the curing period may vary according to the different types of cheese and the result you want to obtain but, in general, the reactions that transform the curd take place thanks to the presence of enzymes that act best in particular conditions. During ripening, attention to detail is therefore essential because even small variations in environmental conditions can significantly influence the final result.

The choice of seasoning equipment is crucial to carry out this process in the best possible way and create an environment suitable for the optimal maturation of the cheeses. Among the indispensable tools there are certainly plastic equipment, particularly suitable for the storage and handling of products because they ensure convenience, hygiene and safety in contact with food, encouraging the aeration of the shapes and ensuring optimal conditions during ripening.

Let’s see in particular which are the equipment for cheese ripening essential to achieve quality results and what benefits they can bring to the dairy industries.

Plastic equipment for cheese ripening: why choose them?

Plastic equipment offers a number of advantages that make it the ideal choice for cheese producers and dairies of all sizes. First of all, plastic (specifically polypropylene) is a lightweight but durable material, which makes the equipment easy to handle and transport within the production environment. This feature is especially appreciated in limited spaces or when it is necessary to move equipment from one place to another. In addition, polypropylene is a non-porous material, which means that it does not absorb odors or flavors, ensuring a clean and contamination-free seasoning environment. This property contributes to the preservation of the integrity and quality of the cheeses during the entire maturing process.

Another advantage of the plastic equipment is their resistance, which makes them also suitable for use in environments with high humidity conditions or subject to temperature variations. In addition, they can be easily cleaned and sanitized with pressure washers, in the washing tunnels and in the mold washers, always ensuring a high level of hygiene, in full compliance with food safety standards.

Finally, plastic equipment can be made with different sizes and shapes, allowing manufacturers to choose the type of equipment that best suits their specific needs. They can be easily adapted to the size and characteristics of the production environment, offering flexibility and versatility in the curing process. They are therefore a convenient and practical choice for cheese producers looking for efficient and high quality solutions to optimize the maturing process of dairy products.

Indispensable cheese aging equipment

Each type of cheese requires specific processing and production processes, which contribute to defining the characteristics of the final product. However, there are cheese aging equipment that are indispensable in any production process to ensure an optimal ripening process: 

  1. cheese seasoning grids: stackable plastic grids are light but resistant, ideal for stacking and organizing cheeses during the ripening phase. Thanks to their modular and stackable structure, they maximize the space available inside warehouses or seasoning cells. The special structure of IFT stackable grids promotes a better air circulation around the shapes, thus contributing to a uniform ripening, avoiding the formation of mold and the need for turning. In addition, they are resistant, easy to clean and hygienic, ensuring a safe and contamination-free environment for cheeses. IFT grids are available in different models and heights to better adapt to the specific needs of each manufacturer: in addition to standard GRPE grid is recently also available the new perforated stackable grid that, in addition to ensuring optimal ventilation of the cheeses without marking them, it is easily adaptable to the various stages of drying and maturing. 
  2. seasoning grilled boards: polypropylene boards provide a stable and safe support for cheeses during the ripening process. IFT grilled boards have a particular grid surface that allows proper aeration and effective drainage of the serum, helping to prevent the formation of unwanted mold. Moreover, they are resistant and durable over time, allowing a prolonged use without compromising the quality of the cheeses. They can be easily placed on shelves, optimizing the storage of shapes and facilitating the work of operators.
  3. holed boards for seasoning: holed boards in polypropylene are designed with holes specially designed to allow the insertion on shelves or supports. They are therefore a practical and versatile solution for the organization of the maturing spaces, ensuring an orderly and stable arrangement of the shapes. Thanks to their particular structure, IFT perforated boards allow a greater aeration of the shapes, avoiding the formation of unwanted molds and ensuring a uniform maturation and a constant quality in the final product. TFSE holed board has a surface with rounded and conical holes that allows the shape not to remain marked and to breathe even from below, thus reducing the need for turnings. Due to its specific characteristics it is particularly suitable to host cheeses such as Grana Padano, Parmigiano Reggiano, Montasio, Monte Veronese and Sicilian pecorino, but it can be easily adapted to different processes. 

IFT cheese ripening equipment: practical and safe solutions for the dairy industry

IFT offers a wide range of equipment for cheese ripening, designed specifically for the dairy sector, which can be used in the different stages of cheese processing, both inside warehouses and aging cells, both in the processing environments, storage and handling of cheese. With a wide selection of products, IFT is able to provide versatile solutions suitable for all types of cheeses, from the softest ones, such as stracchino, to the most mature cheeses. All equipment, including grilled and perforated boards, but also stackable grids, stackable plastic crates and mats, are made of safe and certified plastic materials, suitable for contact with food, to ensure maximum safety and quality of the finished products. 

For more information on seasoning equipment or other products offered by IFT, please contact us! Our staff is always available to advise you on the most suitable solutions for your needs.