What Puts the Flavor into Cheese?


Throughout the world, cheese consumers are looking for new sensory experiences. Top of their list is flavor. Not surprisingly, some of the most highly awarded cheeses in prominent cheese contests are those that present innovative and balanced flavors.

Of course, your idea of an exquisite, mouth-watering cheese probably differs from mine. Thankfully, with so many different and varied flavors available from all over the world, we can always find a cheese in our local cheese shop, delicatessen or supermarket that’s perfect for our dessert or cheese & wine party. What’s your preference?

Adjunct cultures make new flavors…

Cheesemakers can enhance or modify the flavor of their cheeses by adding what are called adjunct cultures. These are purpose-made cheese cultures with specific taste profiles. They increase the intensity and change the balance of cheese flavor. Adjunct cultures are additions to the normal cheese culture used by the cheesemaker.

cheese wheels

What we are seeing these days is exciting new developments in the field of cheese adjunct cultures. Companies such as DSM in the Netherlands offer a wide range of adjunct cultures with a variety of potential taste profiles. They are all laid out in what they call their Flavor Wheel. A cheesemaker can spin the Flavor Wheel and head off in a multitude of exciting directions for new flavors. What’s more, all these flavors are 100% natural. They include sweet and buttery flavors to savory, roasted and mature notes.

… and new flavors win prizes!

DSM's Flavor Wheel cultures provide cheese producers the tools to expand the flavor of their cheese with a pallet of flavor adjunct options. These adjuncts can be used one at a time to develop characteristic flavors, or can be mixed-and-matched to produce cheeses that are highly differentiated and marketable.

Cheeses produced with DSM’s Flavor Wheel cultures consistently receive the highest awards when judged by experts in cheese flavor. With superior taste and aroma, these cheeses find receptive consumer audiences for whom the high-quality flavor provides an enhanced sensory experience and generates brand loyalty.

This is all good news for us enthusiastic cheese consumers! Choosing the right cheese for our special occasion will become even more fun!