Author Topic: dehydrating cheese?  (Read 1381 times)

Offline eric1

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dehydrating cheese?
« on: August 01, 2014, 11:46:11 AM »
Anyone have any experience with or know anything about dehydrating cheese?  (As explained in my other post in this section) I'm not concerned with what it would do to the texture or flavor, but I'm wondering if dehydration would be a way to keep cheese from spoiling. 

And a few related questions about commercial cheeses.  Does Kraft parmesan need to be refrigerated?  What about the cheese powder that comes with macaroni and cheese?  Are there any other forms of cheese that one would find on a regular supermarket shelf (not in a refrigerated case)?  Would there be any simple way to imitate those products, particularly if I weren't concerned about poor flavor or texture?

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: dehydrating cheese?
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2014, 03:53:13 PM »
Wisconsin has designated most semi/hard cheeses made from pasteurized milk as "shelf stable" (based on the moisture content) and do not require refrigeration AT ALL. Temperature during storage, display, or transportation is allowed up to 86F. This was a significant change to the regulations and I suspect that other states will eventually follow suit. The irony is that research out of the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research shows that cheeses stored at higher temperatures are actually safer because they do a better job of fighting off pathogens. Listeria for example can easily survive refrigeration but can easily be destroyed by fermentation byproducts and metabolites from lactic starter bacteria. Here's a link to some of that ground breaking (but not new) research:

Cheese Storage Temperature Research

Cheese doesn't "spoil" because it is ALREADY spoiled milk and can't "spoil" any more. It may get a little mold on it from surface moisture, but unless the mold is extreme, you just scrape it off and the cheese is still usable. The process of making cheese, removing the whey, and pressing to remove even more whey, is a form of dehydration. Some cheese are more "dehydrated" than others. For example, Parmesan is typically a very dry grating cheese (and is often displayed un-refrigerated in grocery stores).

Fresh & soft cheeses are a whole different ballgame.

Why would you want to dehydrate further and not worry about the flavor or texture?
A moldy Stilton is a thing of beauty. Yes, you eat the rind. - Ed