What causes white mold on cheese

Mold on cheese: cut off or throw away?

Camembert, Brie and Co. are allowed to, even should, go moldy. But when Emmentaler, Gouda and mountain cheese put on the fluffy layer, that is not desired. But what do you do: cut it off or throw it away? We reveal what to look out for when it comes to cheese, mold and storage.

With some varieties, mold is part of the enjoyment

When bread, sausage or jam go moldy, they end up in the trash can. But what about cheese? With some varieties, infestation with so-called noble mold is downright desirable. Enriched with red, blue or white mold cultures, these contribute to the special taste of the cheese. However, if the delicious Brie is stored next to a strong Emmentaler that is normally mold-free, the mold culture can quickly jump over to it. This then shows up in the form of white deposits on the edges. It may not look nice, but it is completely harmless to health.

Cut off the edges

If you don't want to spoil the cheesy experience, simply cut off the edges thinly. White, flaky, fur-like traces of mold or a slightly reddish smear coating also develop quickly if your cheese is stored next to a mold cheese. On hard cheeses such as Emmentaler and Parmesan, you can simply remove these areas generously and continue enjoying the cheese. This does not apply to cream cheese and cheese slices. If they show traces of mold, they should be disposed of. In general, however, you can easily prevent this infestation by storing mold cheese in a separate tin. Greenish-gray mushroom nests or shiny pink-white mold spots, such as those found on moldy bread, are dangerous. In this case, you can be sure that your cheese has become inedible and should be disposed of immediately.

Harmful effect

As bad as it is about the good cheese, it is no longer helpful to cut it away generously. These mold cultures are poisonous. As they grow, they form toxins called mycotoxins. One such fungal poison is aflatoxin, for example, which is considered to be severely damaging to the liver. A carcinogenic effect is also being discussed. Other fungal toxins can damage the kidneys and suppress the body's defenses.

Correct storage

Correct storage can prevent mold growth. First of all, you should store varieties with noble mold separately from other varieties. This also applies to cheese made from cow, goat or sheep milk. Since the different rennet cultures used do not get along, it is advisable to wrap the cheese at least one at a time in cheese paper. Incidentally, cheese feels most comfortable in the vegetable drawer, where it is neither too cold nor too dry.

Use a fresh knife

Furthermore, you should always cut your cheese with a clean knife, especially if you switch between cow, goat and mold cheese, for example. This also means that you should offer different knives for each cheese on a cheese platter.

Important NOTE: The information is in no way a substitute for professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.