Cheese Ash (activated charcoal) is a food grade charcoal is used on soft cheese to neutralize the surface. It can help create a friendly environment for the growth of ripening molds while inhibiting unwanted mold growth.
Molds such as penicillium candidum grow best at lower acid levels than typical fresh cheese, including most goat cheese. Adding ash neutralizes the surface acid, creating a sweeter surface, especially for high acid lactic cheese. This helps the mold surface develop quickly and more complete.