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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!

4 comments

Chrissy

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

Amalya

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

Tom Roberts

My wife bit into a pea sized piece that was not crunchy it was solid and about broke her tooth. I am taking it back to Costco for a refund. She is afraid to eat any more of the wedge.

November 15th, 2016 at 4:43 am

Sierra

Tillamook Team

Hi Tom,

Ouch! I hope she is ok! The more aged a cheddar is, the more calcium lactate or "cheese crystals" will be in the cheddar. If you wouldn't mind contacting our Consumer Relations team (https://www.tillamook.com/contact.html) we'd love to get a little more information from you.

Thanks,

Sierra, of the Tillamook team

November 15th, 2016 at 10:15 am
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