Measuring pH in Cheese

The quality of cheese flavor and texture is the result of well-kept pH and temperature. pH makes sure quality standards have been met; in doing so, they are guaranteeing the safety of the cheese production. Most cheeses range from 5.1 to 5.9 in pH. However, this range will have exceptions to certain types of cheeses such as Camembert cheese which has a pH of 7.4. During the cheese making process, the pH is measured multiple times. Each type of cheese may have a slightly different process and pH level. It is important for manufacturers and companies to be aware of the differences and treat each cheese variety with the quality and care it deserves. Measuring the pH of cheese essentially gives the manufacturer control of the cheese process.

Cheese making process:

1. Addition of the starter culture (temperature should stay below 20 °C)

pH level (rennet-induced): 5.1 -5.3
pH level (acid-induced): 4.6

For optimal measurement
put a sample into a beaker.

2. Coagulation (temperature 30 °C)

Usually the pH level stay between: 5.35 – 5.45
In certain cases it can be as low as pH 4.7

3. Pressing (room tempereture: 16-18 °C for mild cheeses and 25 °C for hard cheeses)

pH will decrease (pH 5.0 – 5.3)

4. Brining in salt solution (temperature of solution: 15 °C)

optimal pH level: 5.2
(except soft cheeses like Roquefort where th pH level should be kept at pH 4.7)

During ripening pH level will increase till the optimal ready value.
See the table below: