Cheese Wax vs. Plastic Coatings

Posted: July 2, 2014

If you are a cheese maker, or even if you are just a cheese lover, you may be wondering what cheese wax is, what it does, and maybe even how it is different than plastic coatings. Keep reading this article to find out all about cheese wax and plastic coatings.

What Cheese Wax Is:

Cheese wax is a specialty product formulated for coating cheese. It comes in many different colors. Some of the most recognizable cheese wax colors are black, red, and yellow. Cheese wax is unlike many other waxes, such as paraffin wax, because it will stay flexible and won’t become brittle. It is also FDA approved for direct contact with cheese.

What Cheese Wax Does:

Cheese waxes are used to prevent mold growth, while retaining the moisture in the cheese, in the aging process. When cheese has been properly waxed it can have a shelf life of up to 25 years!

Difference Between Cheese Wax and Plastic Coatings:

Plastic coatings are mainly used as a base coat prior to coating the cheese with wax. Many times plastic coatings are used for harder cheeses because it is somewhat breathable. Plastic coatings are made of a food grade PVA glue. Like cheese wax, plastic coatings are used as a mold inhibitor when aging cheese. Cheese wax is very easy to peel away from the cheese prior to eating the cheese; while plastic coatings can be very difficult to remove from the cheese. When using cheese wax very little needs to be done after the cheese has the wax on. The only thing that needs to be done is maintaining the proper storage temperatures and turning the cheese every few weeks. With plastic coatings, the process is more complex and takes longer to do. Unlike plastic coatings, cheese wax can be reused.

Overall, there are many differences between cheese wax and plastic coatings. Depending on what result you are looking for will determine whether you should use a cheese wax or plastic coating.

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