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Frequently Asked Questions

Why does cheese have holes?

Germany

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.


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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 28/08/2014
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