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Cheesecloth is a square sheet of linen traditionally used in the production of Grana Padano PDO. Linen is a fine, ancient material made from complex fibres sourced from the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum). Each cheesecloth must be washed and sanitised before it is used for the first time, to soften the fibres and dampen the cloth.
In the cheese factory, these cloths are used during the last phases of the milk processing phase: after the curd has been broken and the mixture has been cooked and left to rest under the whey, the first curd mass of Grana Padano is lifted using a large wooden shovel, then “collected” in the cheesecloth.
After lifting, the mass is divided into two twin wheels which are placed in moulds, each still wrapped in their cheesecloth. The cloth then absorbs the whey inside the wheel, helping it to drain. On the first day, the wheels are turned four times and during these phases the cheesecloth is moved from one wheel to the next on the draining table.
At the end of the process, the cheesecloths are washed and sanitised. It is important to hang the cloths out well, but without drying them: they must remain damp to prevent them from drying out.
The life cycle of a cheesecloth is approximately 15 days and they are therefore used in the production of 15 wheels of Grana Padano PDO, the equivalent of about 550 kg of cheese.
When the cheesecloth can no longer be used in the cheese production process, it is washed and sanitised then used for another 7 to 10 days in the warehouse, as a cleaning aid.
CHEESE WHEELS PRODUCED IN 2019
CHEESE WHEELS EXPORTED IN 2018
TOTAL OPERATORS IN THE PACKAGING, MATURING SECTOR
Copyright © 2017-2020 Consorzio Tutela Grana Padano
Ufficio e numero di iscrizione al registro imprese: CCIAA Brescia: R.E.A. 390431
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