MadSci Network: Microbiology

Re: Do bacteria make cheese rinds?

Date: Mon Jan 31 18:38:35 2005
Posted By: Don Schaffner, Faculty, Food Science, Rutgers University
Area of science: Microbiology
ID: 1104958527.Mi

This is a very good question.

You are right in that many types of rinds are simply formed when the cheese on the edge of a wheel dries out because of exposure to the air.

Some types of cheeses ( Gouda comes to mind) are given a wax coating to seal in moisture and prevent the formation of a hard rind.

In Brie cheese the rind is actually formed when the surface of the cheese is fermented by a mold ( Penicillium... the same species that makes the antibiotic penicillin)! Camembert is vert similar to Brie, and also has a mold ripened exterior. Limburger is an example of a cheese where bacteria (not mold) are used to ripen the surface of the cheese.

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