According to French scientists, Camembert cheese tastes the way it does because it goes runny when it is ripe. New Scientist magazine reported on Wednesday that Sophie Nicklaus and her colleagues at the National Institute for Agronomic Research in Dijon, France, made batches of Camembert, then tested how the sharp taste of the cheese changed as it ripened. Nicklaus's team found that the structure of Camembert had a marked influence on how people perceive its flavour. A panel of tasters reported that the bitterness of the cheese increased as it ripened. This was probably because enzymes from the mould on the surface of the cheese release bitter-tasting chemicals by breaking down fats and proteins, the same process that makes the cheese go runny, Nicklaus said. "The structure of the product has an effect on the taste," Nicklaus was quoted as saying.