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Scientists name world's whiffiest cheese

Vieux Boulogne, a soft, yet firm French cheese made from cow's milk and matured by washing with beer, tops a list of the smelliest cheeses reveals scientists today. The artisan-made cheese was tested for its smell along with other known pungent cheeses by Cranfield University on behalf of Fine Cheeses from France.

"Love it or loathe it, the sign of a fine cheese is often its characteristic smell as well as its flavour and texture and we wanted to find out if France's reputation for producing smelly cheeses was true," said Sally Clarke from Fine Cheeses from France.

Dr Stephen White, senior research officer Cranfield University led the study by using an electronic nose as well as a human olfactory panel to sniff out those with the strongest scent.

Fifteen cheeses were selected with the help of cheese experts in France and the UK and put through the smelly stakes. Dr Stephen White said: "The results suggest that electronic nose technology could be a useful tool for cheese characterisation, quality control and authenticity testing in the future. The smelliest cheeses were washed rind cheeses. There was no obvious correlation between the age of the selected cheeses and smelliness, nor type of milk origin, although cows' milk cheeses did dominate the smell chart."

Cheeses whose rinds are washed (in a salt water solution, beer or brandy) were rated smelliest. Tops was Vieux Boulogne followed by Pont l'Evque both washed rind cheeses, produced from the milk of cows raised on the lush, coastal pastures of Normandy.

Camembert de Normandie, the most widely imitated cheese in the world, was rated third. It has a natural rind and is best known for its creamy texture and mushroomy aroma. Hard cheeses were found to be least smelly of all. Goat's cheese, English Farmhouse Cheddar, Ossau Iraty, Raclette and Parmesan took the bottom five places in the smell league.

Pungent smelling cheeses are becom
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Contact: Dr Stephen White
s.f.white@cranfield.ac.uk
44-1-525-863-510
Cranfield University
26-Nov-2004


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