How to Judge Dairy Products

Image by Simon Birt

Brie & Camembert

Appearance

Condition of rind, too thick, too dry, wet, nice and even, thin, foreign mould.

Texture

Paste, too firm, too runny and breaking away from rind, rind too chewy or thick, browning, or brown spots.

Flavour and aroma

True to type? Any off odours or flavours such as over ammoniated, dirty flavour, or clean, buttery and Soft Ripened mushroomy, complex or lacks complexity. Salt levels, too high, too low, acidity levels incorrect, no bitterness.

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Haloumi

Appearance

Fresh means fresh, no rind development.

Texture

Haloumi must be squeaky and non-melting.

Flavour and aroma

Good clean flavour and aroma. Haloumi to be buttery, no dirty notes.

Image by Aliona Gumeniuk

Cheddar - Vintage

Appearance

No mould, may have some crystallisation on the surface, not too much, no free whey in bag.

Texture

Short/crumbly, not pasty or mealy.

Flavour and aroma

Typical aged cheddar flavour, may have some sweetness. No sulphur notes, exessive sour or flat/rancid flavour. Should be balanced in mouth and leaving taster wanting more.

Image by Eiliv-Sonas Aceron

Plain Milk

Appearance

No unusal colour or breakdown of fat.

Aroma

Looking for a sweet, fresh smell. No off odours, such as weedy, oxidized, rancid.

Taste

Fresh and not oxidised, stale or sour. No unusual taints.

Texture

Good mouth feel, rounded and smooth, not watery.

Image by Dovile Ramoskaite

Ice Cream

Appearance

Is the ice cream in a tub? Where is the fill line, eg. is it underfilled? Is the surface icey?

Texture

For texture, the judges look at the mouthfeel. If the product is high fat, it should be warm in the mouth. If low fat, it will be cooler but not icey. The ice cream should not be grainy or sandy.

Flavour

For flavour, what ever flavour is added, it needs to have a good representation of the natural flavour, not too artificial.

Eating

then the eating experience is questioned. Can you still taste the ice cream? Is the base ice cream good quality? Is the ice cream too aerated?

Image by Alison Marras

Yoghurt

For natural yoghurt, judges are looking for good clean acidity, no free whey on top, no under fill. They will question if the body is weak or too firm? With all the added flavours, it is important that it is true to flavour, eg honey - actually tastes like honey! Judges will consider if the flavour is too over powering or is it balanced? If there is fruit at the bottom, eg strawberry, then is it a good strawberry flavour or unidentifiable? If the fruit or flavour needs to be stirred through, does it stir well and is it balanced once stirred?

The judges look at acidity levels. Is it too low or too high? Is the acidity clean? In relation to flavour, judges might comment that the product lacks fine flavour. Meaning is it unnatural tasting, too sweet, flavour of stabilizer is prominent and unclean.

Judges will also be looking at the following elements and points will be removed if criteria is not met:

Product seal integrity.

Difficulty in opening or accessing product safely.

Foreign matter present (clearly not introduced by judging or transport).

If a minimum sample quantity is not provided.

Reallocation to the correct class for judging.

The above judging criteria and comments have been provided for the purpose of education and do not represent the views, opinions or position of judges, officials or the RA&HS. Any resemblance to actual persons, competitors, or exhibits living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

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