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Holes in Swiss cheese come from bacteria, Right? Think again.

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posted on May, 29 2015 @ 12:01 PM
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We've all learned in school (or wherever) that Swiss cheese has holes due to CO2 being released as a waste product by tiny bacteria in the cheese as if forms -- sort of like what causes the bubbles in beer.

But it seems that we may have been wrong. New studies suggest that the holes -- which have been mysteriously disappearing from Swiss cheese over the years -- are formed by the help of tiny particles of hay and other dust in the milk. Newer automated milking methods are just too clean, and the hay dust never gets a chance to be introduced into the milk.


Researchers at Agroscope, a Swiss agricultural research center, have discovered that the holes are in fact a result of tiny pieces of hay that find their way into the milk that’s used for cheese making. Their study reveals that when the most modern techniques are used along the supply chain—from cow to final product—the holes get smaller or disappear altogether, because hay particles become so scarce.

"It's the disappearance of the traditional bucket" used during milking that caused the difference, said Agroscope spokesman Regis Nyffeler, adding that bits of hay fell into it and then eventually caused the holes.

Agroscope said the subject had been under study since at least 1917 when American William Clark published a detailed study and came to the conclusion that it was caused by carbon dioxide released by bacteria present in the milk.


Mystery of holes in Swiss cheese cracked after a century




edit on 5/29/2015 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 29 2015 @ 12:06 PM
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So weird you are posting this now. I just went to the store yesterday and got Havarti and Swiss cheese.....both of which had no holes in them. I thought they had to have messed up when processing somehow, but they tasted how they always tasted.

I miss the holes....bring back the old process dammit!!!!!



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 12:11 PM
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I always thought they were made by a little old man with a drill!
Ah well, we live and learn. Live and learn.



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 12:12 PM
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originally posted by: Vasa Croe
So weird you are posting this now. I just went to the store yesterday and got Havarti and Swiss cheese.....both of which had no holes in them...


Hmmm. I wonder if the multitude of tiny holes in Havarti IS due to bacteria.
I think I need to have a quick snack to investigate.



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 12:15 PM
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I read the post title and said, "No...the holes come from gasses...please tell me they come from gasses and not some parasites...!"

I love cheese, although I doubt I'd be able to eat this cheese:

Casu Marzu:





Derived from Pecorino, casu marzu goes beyond typical fermentation to a stage most would consider decomposition, brought about by the digestive action of the larvae of the cheese fly Piophila casei. These larvae are deliberately introduced to the cheese, promoting an advanced level of fermentation and breaking down of the cheese's fats. The texture of the cheese becomes very soft, with some liquid (called lagrima, Sardinian for "tear") seeping out. The larvae themselves appear as translucent white worms, about 8 mm (0.3 in) long.[2] When disturbed, the larvae can launch themselves for distances up to 15 cm (6 in). Some people clear the larvae from the cheese before consuming while others do not. The cheese, along with one of its Sardinian makers, Giovanni Gabbas, received attention on Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. Zimmern described the taste of the cheese as "so ammoniated" that "...it scorches your tongue a bit." The cheese is known to leave an aftertaste for a duration of up to several hours.[3]

Wikipedia

No thanks, I'll take my Swiss cheese ...
edit on 29-5-2015 by MystikMushroom because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 12:19 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

While pecorino is my favorite cheese in the world.....I will not be trying this derivative anytime soon.....blech.....just nasty!



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 12:26 PM
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a reply to: Vasa Croe

Apparently some people put the cheese in a paper bag first. It draws the maggots out and kills them.

We humans eat some weird food, don't we?



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 12:34 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

Aw Mystic, some things are better left in the unknown. Really. Aboutface puts the cheese back in the fridge and decides to skip lunch.


OP, Thanks for the info. I've been wondering about the change in the Swiss cheese myself. Well whatdya know, Montsanto as not involved in this.



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 12:35 PM
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a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

So the bacteria must attack the hay particles that then release gases and form the bubbles. In theory the reason was already cracked this definition defined process.



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 12:48 PM
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a reply to: Greathouse

I think its more a matter of the debris creating a situation where cheese will not form around it. A chemical that is present and leeched into the milk that prevents the cheese from formning in those spots.

In other words: it isn't air displacement, it is absence of growth in an otherwise still body of solidifying liquid.



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 01:00 PM
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a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

I pondered that theory also prior to my first assumption. Myself I just can't see or understand how a particle would form such a large barrier around itself. Or why it would obtain a circular form. I still think gas was released through decay of a wet grass particle. I would not go out on the limb and say it is still CO2 but it could be Methane?


I will not say my assumptions are fact, but they are a hypothesis. I can't wait until the next study!



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 01:48 PM
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originally posted by: Greathouse
a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

I pondered that theory also prior to my first assumption. Myself I just can't see or understand how a particle would form such a large barrier around itself. Or why it would obtain a circular form...


Here's my guess:

As the cheese dries as it forms, it shrinks and tightens. There is still enough elasticity in the cheese matrix for most of it to keep a homogeneous smoothness (without holes). However, where that homogeneity is disturbed by the presence of the hay dust, the matrix of the cheese is broken, and then forms round voids as the cheese matrix tightens up -- just as a small pinhole in an elastic surface (like elastic balloon material) will grow into a larger circle when that surface is stretched and tightened in all directions equally.


edit on 5/29/2015 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 01:49 PM
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originally posted by: MystikMushroom
a reply to: Vasa Croe

Apparently some people put the cheese in a paper bag first. It draws the maggots out and kills them.

We humans eat some weird food, don't we?


Yeah....I had heard about this cheese a while back and just decided to look up some info on it after your post....definitely not for me.



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 01:58 PM
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originally posted by: Soylent Green Is People

originally posted by: Greathouse
a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

I pondered that theory also prior to my first assumption. Myself I just can't see or understand how a particle would form such a large barrier around itself. Or why it would obtain a circular form...


Here's my guess:

As the cheese dries as it forms, it shrinks and tightens. There is still enough elasticity in the cheese matrix for most of it to keep a homogeneous smoothness (without holes). However, where that homogeneity is disturbed by the presence of the hay dust, the matrix of the cheese forms voids as it tightens -- just a a small pinhole in an elastic surface (like elastic balloon material) will grow into a larger circle when the surface is stretched in all directions equally.




I see what you're saying. The question that would needed to be answered is. Why does it form A circular bubble? In theory for the hole to form around the hay. The dust particle would need to be suspended in the middle of the bubble .

Due to the shapes of the holes their selves I still think some type of gas causes the formation.



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 01:59 PM
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a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

Its simple - microcosm/macrocosm. Curved space and black holes! I love cheeses!



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 02:23 PM
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originally posted by: Greathouse

originally posted by: Soylent Green Is People

originally posted by: Greathouse
a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

I pondered that theory also prior to my first assumption. Myself I just can't see or understand how a particle would form such a large barrier around itself. Or why it would obtain a circular form...


Here's my guess:

As the cheese dries as it forms, it shrinks and tightens. There is still enough elasticity in the cheese matrix for most of it to keep a homogeneous smoothness (without holes). However, where that homogeneity is disturbed by the presence of the hay dust, the matrix of the cheese forms voids as it tightens -- just a a small pinhole in an elastic surface (like elastic balloon material) will grow into a larger circle when the surface is stretched in all directions equally.




I see what you're saying. The question that would needed to be answered is. Why does it form A circular bubble? In theory for the hole to form around the hay. The dust particle would need to be suspended in the middle of the bubble .

Due to the shapes of the holes their selves I still think some type of gas causes the formation.

A sphere is the largest 3D volume that can be formed by a given surface area, just like a circle is the largest 2D area than can be formed by a given perimeter.

Just as my example of the pinhole in a 2D elastic surface forms a perfect circle of increasing size as the elastic is tightened by equal stretching, a disturbance in the 3D cheese matrix (a 'pinhole' in the matrix) caused by the haydust can form a sphere that continues to grow over time as the matrix tightens due to the cheese drying.

...But like I said, that's just my guess.


edit on 5/29/2015 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 02:35 PM
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a reply to: Soylent Green Is People



I see we are coming from just happen to not agree.


I can't wait for the next discovery on Swiss cheese. Because I fear the great Swiss cheese mystery is not completely solved yet. Lol



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 02:58 PM
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I saw that video online - the holes are made by Mickey Mouse. Go ahead, Google it...



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 05:18 PM
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Reaction-diffusion equations will form spheres. You just need two chemicals A and B. Both diffuse through 3D space at the same or different rates. That's the diffusion part. The reaction part allows each chemical to be converted to the other in some way. Something like AB -> 2A which means one unit of A will combine with one unit of B to make two units of B. Bacteria could convert methane (CH4) and oxygen (O2) to carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O) or perhaps the other way round. The gas and water then get absorbed into the cheese matrix and the bacteria die off.



posted on May, 29 2015 @ 06:56 PM
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My question as to the hay "theory" would be why other cheeses weren't historically prone to bubbles. Only certain cultures were which would point more to the traditional off-gassing theory.

It is possible that it is a combination of the two and that the particles allow for a bubble nucleus to form and nearby gassing (from cultures prone to heavy gassing) collects the same way CO2 bubbles in soda grow after nucleating.
edit on 29-5-2015 by Halfswede because: (no reason given)




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