Body of Knowledge

The ACS Body of Knowledge is a compendium of the knowledge areas that professionals in the cheese industry must draw upon in their everyday work, from cheese production to the moment it reaches the consumer. A living document, the Body of Knowledge is never complete. ACS will regularly review, update, and develop it.


  1. Raw Materials for Cheesemaking
  2. Cheesemaking Processes
  3. Cheese Ripening
  4. Cheese Storage and Transportation
  5. Moving cheese out the door (Marketing and Merchandising)
  6. Cheese Types and Categories
  7. Cheese Assessment and Evaluation
  8. Cheese Service
  9. Regulations & Regulators

(last updated 9/2/2014)

What is a Body of Knowledge?

A Body of Knowledge is a compendium — as comprehensive a document as current industry methodologies can achieve — of the knowledge that professionals in a given sector(s) use in their everyday work.  In the case of the cheese industry, a Body of Knowledge includes the range of professional endeavors that involve cheese from the time it is made by the cheesemaker to the time it reaches the consumer, including  distribution, retail, preparation and handling, import/export, serving, education, writing, etc..

How was the ACS Body of Knowledge compiled?

The process began by assembling written materials — books, articles, curriculum outlines, job descriptions — to provide a high-level overview of knowledge areas within the industry. A group of professionals with credibility in the industry and a depth of knowledge and experience in their area(s) of specialization were recruited to review the basic framework of the Body of Knowledge, as well as to add content to domains. The detailed outline was presented to the ACS Education Committee and the ACS Board of Directors for review. An abbreviated version of the Body of Knowledge was also presented to the full membership of ACS in the form of a survey, for further validation.

What does the Body of Knowledge cover?

The nine domains within the Body of Knowledge cover all of the principal knowledge areas within the cheese profession.  As the document continues to evolve, these categories may also evolve. Please find the domains listed above.

Is the Body of Knowledge completed?

A Body of Knowledge is never complete. It is a living document that requires constant review, updates, and further development. Over time, ACS will expand the references, links, citations, appendices, bibliography, and glossary, as well as research historical documents, examine areas for greater development, stay apprised of new developments, and continue the validation process for  new information added.