Gooda, Gouda! Solving the 800-year-old secret of a big cheese

March 4, 2009

Almost 800 years after farmers in the village of Gouda in Holland first brought a creamy new cheese to market, scientists in Germany say they have cracked the secret of Gouda’s good taste. They have identified the key protein subunits, or peptides, responsible for the complex, long-lasting flavor of the popular cheese. That discovery could lead to development of more flavorful cheeses and other dairy products. Their study is in the current issue of ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Thomas Hofmann, Simone Toelstede and Andreas Dunkel note that the scientists have tried for years to pinpoint the natural molecules responsible for the long-lasting taste and wonderful texture of Gouda cheese. It develops during the aging or ripening stage, with aged Gouda more full and complex, with longer-lasting flavor, than the younger version. Cheese lovers prize this characteristic taste, known as the “kokumi sensation.”

The scientists solved the age-old mystery by applying a molecular sensory science approach. It combined mass spectroscopy and other high-tech analytical instruments and sophisticated sensory tools to identify six gamma-glutamyl peptides that appear to be mainly responsible for the kokumi sensation in Gouda. This knowledge could be used to enhance the flavor of dairy products by technological means, the researchers say.

More information: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, “A Series of Kokumi Peptides Impart the Long-Lasting Mouthfulness of Matured Gouda Cheese”

Provided by ACS

Explore further: Jailbreaking yeast could amp up wine's health benefits, reduce morning-after headaches

Related Stories

When microbes make the food

August 1, 2012

Chocolate lovers who think of their passion as rich, sweet, and naturally delicious might want to stay out of Harvard scientist Ben Wolfe’s classroom this summer.

High levels of iron in water may hurt dairy products

July 13, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Cows are thirsty and with good reason — they need to drink nearly 30 gallons of water a day to produce milk and stay healthy. That water needs to be high quality because much of the ingested water becomes ...

Grilled cheese with a tech twist in San Francisco

August 29, 2011

(AP) -- Jonathan Kaplan made it easy for consumers to shoot cheesy home movies when he founded the company behind the Flip Video camcorder. Now, he's hoping to popularize something cheesier - and gooier - by starting a chain ...

Recommended for you

Making polymers from a greenhouse gas

July 28, 2015

A future where power plants feed their carbon dioxide directly into an adjacent production facility instead of spewing it up a chimney and into the atmosphere is definitely possible, because CO2 isn't just an undesirable ...

New material opens possibilities for super-long-acting pills

July 28, 2015

Medical devices designed to reside in the stomach have a variety of applications, including prolonged drug delivery, electronic monitoring, and weight-loss intervention. However, these devices, often created with nondegradable ...

Bleach a possible key to life on earth

July 23, 2015

Hydrogen peroxide - commonly used as hair bleach - may have provided the energy source for the development of life on Earth, two applied mathematicians have found.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.