Long-ripened cheeses are rennet cheeses which, when formed, undergo a period of ageing which can last from a few weeks to even a few years. Maturing time affects the taste and hardness of the cheese. Cheeses with a shorter ripening time are soft and milder in flavour, while cheeses with a longer ripening time are spicy and hard. It is during the ripening period that each cheese obtains its own taste and aroma. A product which has matured for at least months shall be considered to be a long-maturing cheese.
Why are the cheeses maturing?
Maturation is a very important stage in the cheese production process. This process is complex and relies on the storing conditions. The two most important factors are temperature and humidity. These factors are selected so that the cultures of bacteria present in the cheese, responsible for its fermentation, can develop and affect the taste of the cheese. Over time, not only does the taste change, but its nutritional value. 
Maturing cheeses are a source of many nutrients such as calcium, selenium, phosphorus and magnesium. Presence of these ingredients, vitamins and bioactive peptides supports the functioning of the brain. This type of cheese is a rich source of protein, exceeding meat and cold meats in this category. High protein content in the diet helps regulate blood pressure and coagulation, and additionally stimulates the immune system. Long-ripened cheese is also the best source of calcium in the diet. Calcium is needed to prevent obesity, hypertension and atherosclerosis. 
During the ripening process, the lactose present in the product decomposes, which allows the presence of long-ripened cheese in the diet of allergy sufferers.
The study shows that consumption of long-keeping cheese can have a positive effect on health. For example, high consumption of ripened cheeses doubles the risk of breast cancer. Cheese ingredients also have a direct impact on health. High calcium in the diet reduces the risk of developing colon cancer by 40%! 
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