The Mouhijärvi Herkkujuustola has constant monitoring of the sensitive humidity in the cheese cellars. The uniformity of the humidity and a sufficiently high concentration are vital for the success of the cheeses.
Peter Dörig, the master cheese maker of Herkkujuustola, moved from Switzerland to Finland with his family’s cheese-making traditions. Peter and his wife, Jenni, took up the challenge in 2002 when a small cheese factory that had previously operated in the old barn of Selkee Manor closed. Every consignment of milk for the cheese factory arrives from nearby dairy farms, so we can talk about real local production.
In cheese making, variations in air humidity and temperature are extremely critical.
“The mainly handcrafted products of Herkkujuustola are very sensitive to fluctuations in temperature and humidity, and even a small change in the conditions in the cheese cellar can cause serious damage to the entire production batch.”
Among other things, the cheese factory’s products include long-matured Appenzeller-type cheese, on the surface of which the change in conditions is immediately reflected in unwanted changes. Even more critical are blue cheeses, on the surface of which just a certain type of mold is grown in the cheese cellar. Fluctuations in temperature or humidity can, at worst, cause the wrong mold to grow, making the cheese batch unusable. The cheese cellars are constantly monitored in the cheese factory to ensure the best quality.
Critical quality control requires equipment that alerts immediately when temperature or humidity limits are exceeded. The conditions of the cheese factory place precise demands on the equipment, as the very high relative humidity combined with the ammonia content causes problems for traditional capacitive sensors.
Traditional capacitive sensors saturate with moisture very quickly, are slow and do not give an accurate reading due to ammonia.
In the premises of the cheese factory, we use an extremely accurate resistive humidity and temperature sensor. It has been developed especially for challenging and critical humidity values, and gives results in real time.
In addition to cheese cellars and pre-packaged outgoing products, Herkkujuustola monitors the surface cleanliness of the packaging facilities using an ATP luminometer, which is connected as part of another monitoring service. Thanks to a single tracking system, all reports are automatically archived in one place and can be easily found when needed. The results of the luminometer are available immediately, and can also be read afterwards as graphs. This provides a comprehensive and reliable picture of the monitoring of surface hygiene requirements.