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The 4 major developments in hard cheese moulds 

For centuries, cheesemakers have used a wide variety of hard cheese moulds to shape and drain their curds.  

Chronologically, we can list different systems: 

  • Wooden moulds with cheesecloth   
  • Moulds made of materials other than wood with cheesecloth   
  • Perforated stainless steel moulds with multiple pieces 
  • Micro-perforated moulds made of two plastic pieces 
Evolution of the hard cheese moulds

The development of the two-piece micro-perforated mould has met the needs of the industrialization of cheese production. This transition, completed within a decade in France, has brought numerous advantages for both artisanal and industrial cheesemakers. 

At Servi Doryl, a manufacturer of cheese molds for professionals, we prefer polypropylene molds, offering a lightweight, durable alternative.

Today, these hard cheese moulds are used for: 

  • Molding and pressing 
  • Pre-pressing 
  • Acidification in the mold  

This material can be used, for example, as :   

  • Raclette cheese mould  
  • Cheese mould for comté cheese  
  • Cheese mould for Emmental  
  • Morbier cheese mould  
  • Cheese mould for cheddar  
  • Cheese mould for gouda   
  • Cheese mould for Gruyère  
  • Cheese mould for Parmesan  
  • Cheese mould for abondance 

Ergonomics of hard cheese moulds

Plastic hard cheese moulds are lighter than wooden ones, reducing fatigue and drudgery for cheesemakers. To go even further, Servi Doryl has developed all-plastic pressing plates for large cheeses like « Comté ». The historically stainless steel frame has been replaced by plastic, drastically reducing the weight of the cheese pressing plate and simplifying its use in cheesemaking/cheese dairy. For more information, read our article.

The setup and assembly process is also significantly simplified with the latest generation of plastic hard cheese moulds, unlike the perforated stainless steel moulds which have of up to eight pieces to assemble and disassemble during use. 

The main technical challenge when replacing cheesecloth with plastic is ensuring that the drainage and cheese rind formation of the cheese are just as effective. Trials with different densities and perforations can be carried out to select the right solution. It’s important to seek advice from a specialist, as at Servi Doryl there are more than 40 possible combinations.

40 combinations of patterns and perforation for the hard cheese moulds from Servi Doryl

Cleanability of hard cheese moulds

Each cheese dairy has its own specific equipment and cleaning requirements for cheese molds.  Here’s a list of different washing methods found in cheese production: 

  • Hand washing 
  • Soaking 
  • Washing tunnel and washing cabinet 

Automated cleaning of plastic moulds allows good results and saves considerable amount of time compared to old wooden moulds, freeing cheesemakers to focus on other tasks.  

Good cleaning requires not only the right tools and processes, but also effective products. To find out more about this topic, download our free white paper entitled “Mould cleaning in cheese factories.

The importance of a good cleaning for the hard cheese moulds


The plastic we use is subject to very strict regulations and must be suitablefor food contact.

Not all cheese dairies facilities have X-ray and metal detectors. To easily identify any plastic pieces, Servi Doryl offers blue molds. Servi Doryl’s blue molds make it easy to spot any pieces of plastic. 

Longevity and Recycling of hard cheese moulds

When used with care, Servi Doryl molds can last up to 15 years. These micro-perforated cheese molds can be used, for example, as raclette cheese molds. At Servi Doryl, we place great importance on the environmental issues associated/related to our molds. Corporate social responsibility is one of our three pillars, and we publish an annual report detailing our actions in this area.

We offer our customers the possibility of recorvering/option to return their old moulds when renewing their equipment, so they can be sent for recycling. Some moulds can be ground up to create new products. To find out more, read our case study on the transformation of plastic articles into sterilization plates. 


In conclusion, the transition of pressed cheese molds from wood and cheesecloths to plastic with pattern and micro-perforations represents a major advance in the cheese industry. Not only does plastic offer undeniable advantages in terms of ergonomics and traceability, it also helps to simplify production processes and guarantee the quality of the cheeses produced. This change illustrates the cheese industry’s ability to adopt and take advantage of modern technologies to improve efficiency and product quality. 

We could also go further and discuss other cheese-making equipment that has been converted to plastic, such as :   

  • Maturing board   
  • Ripening and brining board  
  • Ripening and brining basket  
  • Ripening/Ageing pallet  

These items, from Servi Doryl’s Sanair range, optimize cheese ripening while maximizing cellar and transport space. Both the ripening baskets and the ripening pallets are designed to be stackable, mechanizable and airy. 

Servi Doryl : Cheese mould expert

Since 1972, Servi Doryl has been a specialist in the application of plastics to cheese-making technology, designing, producing and marketing worldwide molds, mold blocks, coagulation basins, draining trays and many other products for the manufacture of all types of soft and pressed cheeses.

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