Did you know that microbes make the cheese?

Yes, that is what the American Society for Microbiology published in its recent FAQ on cheese. The report published February 2015, and available free online, introduces a host of ways in which micro-organisms lead the way to healthy, delicious, and varied cheese.

We learn from this publication that "Streptococcus thermophiles, Lactobacillus helveticus, and Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. are associated with Swiss- and Italian-type cheeses." While Lactococcus lactis and Leuconostoc mesenteroides are integral part of making Cheddar and Gouda style cheeses. Even the ammonia smell of some cheeses can be attributed to the presence of microbes. Trust us, after reading the entire booklet, you will never see moldy cheese the same way.

No time to read the report? Why not download this engaging episode of Gastropod. The host interviews MIT Anthropologist Heather Paxson (a member of our Academic Advisory Committee), cheese expert and University of Vermont professor Paul Kindstedt, and Tufts University microbiologist Benjamin Wolfe on cheese, history, and science.

To find out more on this topic, you can also read from Prof. Rachel Dutton (also a member of our Academic Advisory Committee) and Benjamin Wolfe in the academic journal Cell (Vol. 158, Issue 2, p422-433) published on July 17, 2014.

Our resources section is also a great place to find peer-reviewed articles. We provide small introductions to all of them, and you can download them free of charge.

Your membership ensures that we continue researching on traditional cheeses and promoting its benefits. 

- Carlos Yescas