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Course Description

Non-fresh cheeses develop their sensory profile during ripening while ripening agents change cheese components based on curd composition, environment control, salting and surface treatments, and packaging to deliver a wide range of flavours, aromas, textures and appearance that define cheese quality. For two days, course participants will learn about ripening agents, cheese surface treatments such as coatings, ripening environments, changes that occur during ripening (texture, flavour, composition). Students will then learn techniques to grade cheese and develop proper protocols while judging cheese. Lab sessions include recognizing the most common flavor, body, texture, color and appearance defects found in cheese.  Students will have 3 weeks to review all materials, complete a quiz and an assignment.

Learning Outcomes

  • By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:
  • Identify with detail the different agents involved in the ripening of cheese through class discussions,
  • Judge the quality of a cheese when compared with a similar variety using appropriate terms during a lab judging exercise,
  • Follow adequate etiquette during cheese grading during a lab judging exercise,
  • Recall the most common defects and explain the most probable cause through a home assignment and
  • Recommend adequate ripening, packaging and storage parameters for different cheese varieties through a home assignment

Course Topics

  • Ripening Principles and Practice: Chemical and physical changes during ripening, principal ripening agents, cheese composition for optimal curing,    Ripening parameters and treatments.
  • Cheese Grading and Defects. Cheese grading techniques and standards. Cheese Judging etiquette and forms. Most common defects in cheese and causes.
  • Packaging, Storage and Delivery.


Assessment Item Weight
End-of-unit 5-minute quizzes 20%
Participation in online discussions 20%
1 assignment 60%
Total 100%


Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.


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