For such a long time, centuries even, the holes in Swiss cheese, like Emmental, were believed to have come from the carbon dioxide of bacteria.
A University of Wisconsin researcher at the Center for Dairy Research, John Jaeggi, compared the relationship between the eyes and the particulates to the raindrop formation. It all boils down to “heterogeneous nucleation,” he states.But presently, the Swiss exactly pinpointed the culprit of why the holes form the way that they do.
The Swiss cheese holes, known as eyes, become smaller because processing factories became cleaner, said a Swiss research center, the Agroscope Institute for Food Sciences. The outdated barns and buckets allowed for more and larger particulates of hay in the process, resulting to bigger eyes.
“Rain forms around dust particles, and it’s kind of the same principle. With these little specks of hay powder in that cheese body, that’s causing weaknesses in the curd structure and then that’s where the gas is going to form and get your eyes,” he says.
He added, it doesn’t necessarily have to be hay, other particulate matter amounts to do the same thing.
A third-generation descendent of Swiss cheese maker ancestors, Jaeggi, said the new study gave hard scientific proof to a longtime belief in the cheese industry.
“They’ve basically put the science behind what was commonly known,” he quips.