Federal Station Agroscope Liebefeld-Posieux ALP, CH-3003 Bern

World champion cheese cultures

Swiss cheeses regularly win prizes at international contests. Experts widely agree that the microbial cultures from Liebefeld have contributed greatly to this success story. Thanks to the use of cultures with bacteria originally stemming from biodiversity in the nearby area, the connection between traditional Swiss cheeses and their terroir can be strengthened considerably. This article will outline the success factors, summarise the historical development, present current research projects and introduce the business model of culture production. An approximate calculation reveals that the public funding going towards the development of microbial cultures has a lot of leverage over agricultural income and contributes significantly to the preservation of decentralised dairy processing and to extensive, multifunctional agriculture in Switzerland.

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