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Researchers pinpoint ‘smelly’ component of blue cheese

04-Jan-2013

Dr Kostas Gkatzionis (pictured) and his team were able to pinpoint a certain strain of yeast as the smelly culprit.
Dr Kostas Gkatzionis (pictured) and his team were able to pinpoint a certain strain of yeast as the smelly culprit.

UK researchers claim to have pinpointed what exactly it is that makes blue cheeses, such as Stilton, so smelly.

Researchers from the University of Northampton and the University of Nottingham are claiming to have discovered a “secondary micro-flora component” that is responsible for enhancing the smell of blue cheese.

A team of trained sensory experts were drafted in to test different cheese models containing varying yeast levels in an effort to work out which particular strain was responsible for the aroma.

The researchers discovered that a strain of yeast called Y. lipolytica directly influences the distinct smell associated with blue cheese.

“The panel was able to discriminate between samples with different yeast levels, suggesting that the variation in microbial flora was noticeable in the aroma. Limiting aroma variation is paramount to producing more consistent blue cheeses,” said University of Northampton’s Dr Kostas Gkatzionis, who led the study.

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