+
Cheese

Chemicalkinetics! IS IT SAFE? PVC piping used for cheesemaking press.

Mr Taster | May 13, 201302:16 PM     10

First of all, I hope that cheesemaking falls under the "Cheese" board and not the "Home Cooking" board, because that's what my question is about.

I've just started dabbling in home cheesemaking, and this weekend I made my first farmhouse style cheddar. It's currently resting under a crazy ramshackle press I rigged up with four X 5 lb. free weights sitting on top of a cheese mold follower. It's already come crashing down twice.

So, I've turned to the Internet for a better solution. Lots of people offer suggestions on making home cheese presses, but I kind of like this one:

http://schmidling.com/press.htm

I live near the store that can supply all of these parts, so was thinking of making it myself.

However, the cheese press uses lots of plastic parts, like PVC pipe and polyethylene.

Ricki Carroll, the "cheese queen" of New England (according to her story, she's to home cheesemaking what Alice Waters was to the "slow food" movement) says PVC leeches an aftertaste into cheese. When I asked the PVC press guy about this, he said he once contacted Ricki about selling his press through her, and she went off on a tirade against the oil industry. He told me, "This stuff is used all over the world for handling drinking water, food and milk products and is classified as "food grade"."

So, my question to you is, are the plastics used in this cheese press safe to come into direct contact with food? A rudimentary google search indicates that there are different types of polyethylene, and some are safer to use than others.

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/whic...

Of course I'm looking to ensure that the plastics I'd use in this specific application are safe and will not leech (i.e. warm or room temperature acidic curds in direct contact with PVC and polyethylene, for an extended period of time-- 24 hours)

I would particularly like to hear from Chemicalkinetics, since I know you have a scientific training and likely know a bit about this topic. I'm looking for facts, not speculation or anti-oil/anti-plastic tirades.

Thanks all
Mr Taster

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

More from Chowhound

How to Make Your Sugar Cookies Taste Better
Guides

How to Make Your Sugar Cookies Taste Better

by Amy Sowder | Sugar cookies often look prettier than they taste. Now that's not right. With cookie season well under...

Christmas Cheesecake: The Most Wonderful Dessert of the Year
Explainers

Christmas Cheesecake: The Most Wonderful Dessert of the Year

by Jen Wheeler | At Christmas time, there are cookies galore, but true dessert lovers still crave something more substantial...

11 Gluten-Free Cookie Recipes for the Holidays
Recipe Round-Ups

11 Gluten-Free Cookie Recipes for the Holidays

by Vanessa Simmons | Christmas cookies, holiday cookies, winter treats—whatever you want to call them, they used to be...

13 Perfect Christmas Desserts That Aren't Cookies
Recipe Round-Ups

13 Perfect Christmas Desserts That Aren't Cookies

by Jen Wheeler | Christmas cookies are one of the reasons to love the season, but holiday desserts do not stop at the...

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.