Bubbles, Bubbles Everywhere: What Your Bubbly Cottage Cheese is Trying to Tell You

  • Bubbles in open cottage cheese packets indicate water pockets and a sign of beginning loss in freshness, whereas, in sealed packets, bubbles are from added carbon dioxide to prevent oxidation
  • The presence of bubbles varies with the state of the packaging; opened suggests water-related freshness decline; sealed indicates protective carbon dioxide
  • Cottage cheese loses freshness upon exposure to oxygen; hence, carbon dioxide is used in sealed packaging to extend shelf life
  • A bulging sealed package suggests the start of oxidation and potential freshness loss, warranting a check for spoilage signs
  • Bubbly cottage cheese’s safety and freshness largely depend on packaging integrity and whether it has been opened

Is Your Cottage Cheese Packet Open?

To be honest, bubbly cottage cheese can be both a good sign and a bad sign.

So, let’s start with the bad first.

If you see bubbles in your cottage cheese after it has been opened, these are water bubbles.

This is generally the first indication that your cottage cheese is starting to lose its freshness.

It should still be fine to eat, but you should be wary that you potentially only have another day or two until it’s spoiled.

You can also check for other possible signs of spoiled cottage cheese.

These include:

  • Cottage cheese will usually start to turn yellow as it loses its freshness.
  • Watery cottage cheese is a sign that the actual cheese is beginning to lose its moisture, so this seeps out into the packaging.
  • Cottage cheese exhibits a sour smell, similar to sour cream when it’s past its prime.
  • Mold is an obvious sign that cottage cheese has gone bad and should therefore be thrown out immediately.

If none of these signs are obvious, then you can, of course, do a taste test.

However, I urge you to be wary, as consuming spoiled cottage cheese is likely to give you severe stomach and digestive issues.

Is Your Cottage Cheese Packet Still Sealed?

Now, just because your cottage cheese is bubbly, this doesn’t always mean there’s something untoward.

However, this is only the case if the packaging is still sealed.

As you’re probably now aware, as soon as you open the packaging, the clock starts ticking.

Cottage cheese, and other soft cheeses, will typically only last for a few days once opened.

Then again, hard cheeses can last in the refrigerator, after being opened, for at least a week or two.

That being said, in all cases, once opened, your cheese is exposed to the elements, more specifically, oxygen.

And it is oxidation that will generally start to age cheese.

Now, this isn’t a bad thing for hard cheeses, as many of them tend to taste better as they age.

Unfortunately, as soon as soft cheese, such as cottage cheese, comes into contact with oxygen, you don’t have long before it goes off.

So, to protect against oxidation, cottage cheese packing is usually filled with carbon dioxide.

This will help to stop the aging process while the cheese remains in its packaging.

And fairly often, you’ll notice the formation of bubbles, which are nothing more than carbon dioxide bubbles.

As soon as you open the packing, you’ll notice these bubbles quickly burst and dissipate.

That being said, you should always keep an eye out for a bulging sealed package of cottage cheese.

The packaging should always be tightly sealed to not allow air in contact with the cheese.

However, a bulging packet will indicate that your cottage cheese has started to lose its freshness, and the oxidation process has begun.

If this is the case, you should complete all the normal sight and smell tests, but beware that this usually means that you’ve only got a couple of days maximum to consume your cottage cheese.

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My Final Thoughts

So, as you can see, there are a couple of reasons why your cottage cheese is bubbly.

Whether your cheese is still fresh will very much depend on the packaging.

If the packaging is open and you spot bubbles, these are water pockets and an indication that your cheese is starting to lose its freshness.

However, if the packaging is still sealed, the bubbles you see are carbon dioxide bubbles.

Cottage cheese will typically start to lose its freshness as soon as it comes into contact with oxygen, i.e., once it’s opened.

Therefore, carbon dioxide is added to the sealed packaging to protect the cottage cheese from aging.

Another occurrence you may have noticed is that cottage cheese tastes metallic.

How do you think the presence of bubbles affects your perception of the quality and freshness of cottage cheese?

Let us know in the comments below!

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