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Have you ever bought a loaf, or a package of sliced Tillamook Cheddar and noticed a thin layer of white, crystal like formations on the outside? Before you cut it off or through away you cheese, read this! The white substance that you are seeing on your cheese is not mold, it is calcium lactate!

Calcium lactate is quite common in aged cheese because it forms during the natural aging process. When you see calcium lactate in cheese, it usually means you’ve found a well-aged and flavorful loaf. Well done, you!

The calcium lactate often looks like a white, film-like coating, or small dots. In older cheeses, like our Vintage Extra Sharp White Cheddar Cheese, it may even be sprinkled within the loaf. That’s what those little crunchy pieces are in your cheese!

Calcium lactate particles can be as large as peas, but they’re usually about pinhead-size, or a white coating when found in Tillamook Cheese, The most important thing to remember about Calcium lactate is that it is naturally occurring and perfectly safe to eat!

If you’re ever unsure or want to chat about what you’re seeing on your cheese, reach out to the Consumer Relations team here!



Funny. I sort of knew it was OK to eat, but still cut it off any away. I am kind of OCD about these things. Next time I will try and use my cheese w/out shaving off the white stuff.

June 17th, 2015 at 9:22 am


Tillamook Team

Hi Chrissy,
Glad this post could help. If you're ever nervous, you can always give the team a call (1-855-562-3568) or email us to chat about what you're seeing on your cheese to be sure. :)

All the best,
Amalya of the Tillamook team

June 17th, 2015 at 3:01 pm
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