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: Molecular biologist talks cheese

Related Stories

Molecular biologist talks cheese

April 22, 2016

While many microbiologists build entire research careers around studies of a single microorganism, Rachel Dutton has taken her career in the other direction—examining collections of microbes, but with an unusual twist. ...

Metagenomic study links microbes to flavors in kefir

October 4, 2016

A team of food scientists and microbiologists in Ireland have used high-throughput sequencing to analyze how microbial populations change as kefir ferments. It's a new frontier in food analysis: Using the data, collected ...

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 ...

Against the common gouda

October 13, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- The cheese aisle of your local supermarket is an unlikely place to study a classic political problem: How do we balance state power with individual freedom? But for those with a trained eye, the variety, ...

Recommended for you

Bio-renewable process could help 'green' plastic

January 19, 2018

When John Wesley Hyatt patented the first industrial plastic in 1869, his intention was to create an alternative to the elephant tusk ivory used to make piano keys. But this early plastic also sparked a revolution in the ...

Simulations show how atoms behave inside self-healing cement

January 19, 2018

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have developed a self-healing cement that could repair itself in as little as a few hours. Wellbore cement for geothermal applications has a life-span of only 30 ...

Looking to the sun to create hydrogen fuel

January 18, 2018

When Lawrence Livermore scientist Tadashi Ogitsu leased a hydrogen fuel-cell car in 2017, he knew that his daily commute would change forever. There are no greenhouse gases that come out of the tailpipe, just a bit of water ...

A new polymer raises the bar for lithium-sulfur batteries

January 18, 2018

Lithium-sulfur batteries are promising candidates for replacing common lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles since they are cheaper, weigh less, and can store nearly double the energy for the same mass. However, lithium-sulfur ...

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.