Specialist in cheese grading and cheese grading training, with 39 years of experience in the cheese industry. British varieties include Coloured Cheshire, White Cheshire, Blue Cheshire, Stichelton, Blue Shropshire, Lanark Blue, Garstang Blue, Coloured Cheddar, White Cheddar, Wensleydale, Creamy  Lancashire, Traditional Lancashire, Caerphilly, Derby, Traditional Red Leicester, Traditional Double Gloucester, Blue Stilton, White Stilton, Blue Vinney, Cornish Yarg, Croudie, Dunlop, Kidderton Ash,  Welsh Cheddar and Scottish Cheddar.
Cheddar is sold as Mild, Medium Mature, Mature, Extra Mature and Vintage, also Creamery and Farmhouse including West Country Farmhouse. Age is not the deciding factor in determining cheddar’s maturity.
Continental varieties include Emmental, Roquefort, Comté, Beaufort, Jarlsberg, Manchego, Brie, Brie de Maeux, Camembert au lait cru, Munster, Marroilles, Fourme d’Ambert, Pont l’Eveque, Tilsit, Gruyere, Leerdammer, Danish Blue, Pecorino Romano, Ricotta, Mascarpone, Fontina, Fontal,  Mozzarella, Mozzarella di bufala, Parmesan or Parmigiano Reggiano, Provolone , Grana Padano, Pecorino, Pecorino Romano, Sbrinz, Feta, Halloumi,  Kefalotyri, Edam, Gouda, Bleu d’Auvergne, Bleu des Causses, Chabichou du Poitou, Chabichou du Poitou,  Époisses de Bourgogne, Morbier, Saint-Félicien, Reblochon and Saint-Marcellin.
Cheese with additives includes Wensleydale with cranberries, White Stilton with almost any fruit, Cheddar with mustard, Sage Derby, Cheddar with spring onion, Cheddar with  herbs and garlic and Cheddar with chive and onion.
Rennet is either vegetarian or animal. The colouring in cheese is Annatto (E160b) or beta-carotene. Cheese descriptors may use the following words: acidic, acrid, ammonia, apples, astringent, baby's sick, beefy, bitter, blue mould, bright, brittle, broken down, brothy, burned sugar, buttery, butyric acid, cabbage, calcium lactate, caramel, carrot cake, chalky, chicken feed, crumbly, citric, close, cooked, corky, clean, cracked, curdy, damp cardboard, chocolate, dense, doughy, dry, dull, earthy, elastic, eye holes, fatty, fermented whey, cider, firm, fishy, fizzy, flake, flat, fleck, flinty, fractured, fruity, fudge, gooseberry, grainy, granular, grapefruit, grassy, gritty, hard, hay, herby, honey, lactic, leathery, lemony, liquorice, lumpy, manure, marbled, Marmite, meaty, mellow, metallic, milky, minty, moist, mottle, mushroomy, musty, nutty, oily, onion, open, pastry, pasty, pear drops, peppery, phenolic, pin holes, pineapple, piquant, plastic, pliable, powdery, pungent, rancid, ripe, rough, round holes, rounded, rubbery, runny, rustic, salty, saline, sharp, sherbet, silage, smooth, soft, sour, spicy, slitty, springy, strawberry, sulphurous, supple, sweaty feet, sweet, tallow, tangy, tender, unctuous, uniform, watery, waxy, weak, whey, wet, winey, yeasty, zesty, zingy.
Knowledge of Sensory Evaluation helps the cheese grader to make better judgements. Where on the tongue are the receptors, or taste-buts, located that taste sweet, salt, sour of bitter flavours? How important is the aroma of the cheese in determining its best use?


Independent cheese grading to the highest industry standard, Quality on site staff training, read more.


All our training sessions are tailored to customer requirements, we can provide cheese awareness courses for sales giving your cheese business a lift with sales , production, technical, goods receipt, and deli-counter personnel.

Cheese grading specialists cheese grading training Cheese awareness courses Cheese Grading staff training training for deli-counter personnel cheese grading



The next event will be at the Bailey Head on Tuesday 6th March and will feature a selection of Welsh cheeses.
Tickets are £10 each and must be reserved by the evening of Monday 5th March emailing

Independent cheese grading,
Cheese grader training,
Cheese Profiling,
Benchmarking for New Product Development and recipe dish,
Product matching for New Product Development and recipe dish,
Identifying alternative sources of cheese,
Grading “Traded Lots”,
Working with your suppliers to ensure optimum consistency,
Cheese Grading Courses are for Sales, Production, Technical, Goods-receipt, Deli-counter personnel,
Taste and Flavour Recognition courses.
All training courses are tailored to each customer’s requirements.

How to use a cheese iron
35 years experience in the cheese industry independent cheese grading and staff training sessions for the cheese industry

A Basic Guide to Cheese Grading

Cheeses are graded at different ages according to their variety, maturation timescale and quality.
Cheese Grading involves the use of at least four senses.

The first part is a visual check to ensure that the sample’s appearance is appropriate to its variety.

The grader then inserts the cheese iron, or trier, into the cheese and then turns it through 180º to create a core. This action gives the cheese grader a very good indication of the body’s firmness and texture.

The next part is to remove the core from the cheese and immediately smell it to check for the presence of off-aromas.

The back of the iron is now checked for any smearing of fat and/or moisture. The amount of smearing depends on the variety being graded. For example, a Cheshire should leave a clean, fat-free iron, while a Double Gloucester should leave a smooth residue covering the iron.

The grader will now remove a small sample from the iron and check to ensure that the body and texture are appropriate. There is now another visual check for attributes and defects.

The body and texture are now evaluated. This is done in different ways depending on the variety. Cheddar is kneaded-down and Cheshire is gently opened out. These checks give the grader a full indication of how appropriate the body and texture are to the requirements of the variety. Handling it in this manner helps to warm the cheese and emphasise the flavours and aromas. The grader should again smell the sample and, most importantly, taste it. While the sample may look, smell and feel acceptable, tasting it is ultimately the most important part of the process.

The top of the core will be inserted back into the cheese.

The sum of the various parts of the grading allows the grader to allocate the cheese to its correct use and customer.

The initial timescale and frequency of grading depend on several factors such as the variety, knowledge of the producer’s on-going quality and consistency, and the results of each grading session. An accepted frequency of initial grading is one sample per vat produced.


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