"Gouda" Quality Control
In the factory, quality control is ensured by rigorous inspectors who test the cheese for a variety of factors like texture, body, smell, and taste — and then assign points based on these characteristics.
Cheese manufacturing presents some unique challenges, particularly because of the debate surrounding pasteurized and unpasteurized milk. To ensure the health of consumers, the FDA requires that many cheeses be made from pasteurized milk, but it does allow producers to use unpasteurized milk as long as those cheeses will be aged for more than 60 days. Cheese aficionados argue that since pasteurization destroys the natural bacteria needed to manufacture cheese, making cheese with pasteurized milk results in an inferior product. Ultimately, this can make things complicated when it comes to the import and export of cheese, as different countries have different regulations surrounding pasteurization.
Despite the ongoing debate surrounding pasteurization, there seem to be no sign of the cheese supply chain slowing down. Americans can rest assured that they’re very much on track to reach (if not surpass!) the predicted 37 pounds per capita consumption rate by 2025.