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Frequently Asked Questions

Why does cheese have holes?


The holes are made by sizable bubbles of gas produced by a special kind of bacteria (propionic) in the cheese-ripening process. While the cheese is ripening (maturing), the long molecules of the cheese break down into simpler, tastier molecules by the action of enzymes. Parallely, propionic bacteria (CO2- forming bacteria) will produce carbonic gases and contribute to the creation of a texture with round holes/eyes or irregularly shaped eyes. Some cheeses have extra large holes due to the addition of propionic acid which also gives the sweet, nutty flavour.


The European Food Information Council (EUFIC) is a non-profit organisation which communicates science-based information on nutrition and health, food safety and quality, to help consumers to be better informed when choosing a well-balanced, safe and healthful diet.

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This site was last updated 19/05/2016
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