Why Do We Add Salt in Cheese Making?

Someone asked me the other day, why do we add salt to cheese?

There are several reasons, but first and foremost, adding salt to curd helps to improve the flavour of the finished product. 

There are many ways of adding salt: we add salt to the cheese prior to milling when the Titratable Acidity has reached the desired level – this is different for the different types of cheese that we make.  Or, you can ‘dry salt’, where you rub salt around the outside of cheese.  This method is often used for soft, bloomy rinded cheeses, but I know other cheese makers who rub salt into the outside of a hard cheese in the first few days whilst it is maturing.  Another way is to brine your cheese i.e. place it in a salt solution, turning regularly so that it gains an even coverage.

Other reasons for adding salt include:

  • Helping to control the acidity levels – adding salt should slow down the rate of acidity development
  • Helps to preserve the cheese by inhibiting the growth of unwanted bacteria
  • Helps to expel more whey after milling – more whey will be expelled as the salt further shrinks the curd particles 
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