Why Does Mozzarella Cheese Mold Faster? (Explained!)

Mozzarella cheese molds faster than other cheeses because it lacks preservatives and has a high moisture content. This environment is ideal for mold growth. Storing mozzarella in brine within a sealed container can help, but the cheese’s freshness and susceptibility to mold are influenced by these factors.

What Makes Mozzarella Cheese Go Moldy So Quickly?

You may have noticed that mozzarella goes moldy a lot quicker than other cheeses.

Even if you haven’t even opened it, the mozzarella goes a strange orange color which doesn’t look very appealing!

It’s a similar story with other fresh cheeses, such as chèvre and ricotta.

Unlike harder cheeses, mozzarella doesn’t contain any preservatives.

The best way to store it is to keep it in the liquid it is sold in.

This could be water but is usually brine or occasionally whey.

Ideally, the mozzarella should also be stored in an airtight container.

It’s not necessary to change the mozzarella liquid unless you notice that it has a strong, unpleasant smell.

If that’s the case, make up a new solution of brine, using one tablespoon of salt to several cups of water.

Do be aware that the taste of salt will transfer to the mozzarella, so don’t add too much.

Another reason that mozzarella molds faster is because it is a fresh cheese, not aged in any way, and has a high moisture content.

Mold thrives in damp environments. 

Pizza mozzarella is somewhat different as it has a lower moisture content and is not necessarily kept in liquid.

It can be securely wrapped in plastic and should stay fresh for a few days. 

Is the Mozzarella Moldy?

Of course, you are going to assume that if your mozzarella is a strange color, then it must be moldy.

And therefore, you can’t eat it.

However, that’s not necessarily the case.

When you think of mold on food, it’s usually a blue or green color with a furry texture.

But with soft cheeses and mozzarella, in particular, they usually turn orange.

But, although it’s a form of mold, it is more accurately described as a bacteria and is harmless. 

Yes, it might taste a bit odd and look pretty weird on your pizza, but you can eat it!

The bacteria is called Brevibacterium linens and is found naturally in raw milk, which is how it gets into the mozzarella.

And then, the high moisture content of the cheese helps it spread. 

Some cheesemakers deliberately add bacteria to give the cheese a distinct color and flavor.

However, if your mozzarella has turned blue or green, then it should be discarded. 

Another sign that the mozzarella may be off is if the edges of it have gone hard. 

Mozzarella should be soft and squidgy, so any hardness is not a good sign.

Is Mozzarella Cheese Moldy?

My Final Thoughts

  • Mozzarella molds faster due to its high moisture content and absence of preservatives, creating an environment conducive to mold growth.
  • It should be stored in its original liquid (brine or whey) inside a sealed container in the refrigerator.
  • The brine need not be changed unless it develops a bad odor, at which point a fresh saltwater solution should be prepared.
  • Despite appearances, the orange color on mozzarella can be due to harmless bacteria, not necessarily mold.
  • Mozzarella’s freshness and safety can be assessed by its texture, smell, and color, using caution if signs of spoilage are present.

Mozzarella cheese molds faster because it is a soft cheese and has no preservatives.

The high moisture content makes mozzarella more susceptible to mold.

The brine in which it’s stored should keep it fresh, but the liquid may need to be replaced.

Despite its appearance, the mozzarella might not be moldy.

An orange color indicates the harmless presence of bacteria.

At the end of the day, always use your judgment when deciding whether to eat the cheese or not!

But look out for another clue that the cheese might be off if the mozzarella has a fishy smell.

Does this information prompt you to reconsider or adjust how you handle and consume fresh cheeses like mozzarella in your daily cooking practices?

Let us know in the comments below!


Q: Why does mozzarella cheese mold faster than other cheeses?
A: Mozzarella molds faster because it is a fresh cheese with high moisture content and lacks preservatives, creating an ideal environment for mold growth.

Q: What makes mozzarella go moldy quickly?
A: Mozzarella’s lack of preservatives, its status as a fresh cheese, and its high moisture content make it susceptible to quick molding.

Q: How should mozzarella be stored to prevent molding?
A: Store mozzarella in its original liquid (water, brine, or whey) inside an airtight container. Changing the liquid is not necessary unless it smells strong and unpleasant.

Q: Can you eat mozzarella if it turns orange?
A: Yes, an orange color in mozzarella is usually due to harmless bacteria, not mold. However, if it turns blue or green, it should be discarded.

Q: What are signs that mozzarella cheese is off?
A: Mozzarella is likely off if it smells fishy or if the edges have gone hard, as fresh mozzarella should be soft and squidgy.

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