The mystery of Swiss cheese and its disappearing holes has been solved after a century of research. According to scientists from Agroscope – a state-run center for agricultural research in Switzerland – the holes found in cheeses such as Emmental and Appenzell are caused by tiny bits of hay present in the milk used to make the products.

Agroscope mentioned that the discovery explained why there is a decrease in the holes which appear in Swiss cheeses in the last decade, when more modern milking techniques made it almost impossible for hay to reach the containers.
“It’s the disappearance of the traditional bucket” used during milking that caused the difference where bits of hay fell into it and caused the holes, said Agroscope spokesman Regis Nyffeler.


The findings also explain why the holes have been declining over the last 15 years – because the modern technique of milking a cow with a sealed machine has eliminated the possibility of hay creeping into the milk.

Previously, research suggested the holes were caused by carbon dioxide released by bacteria, but that’s apparently not the case.

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Lovy Mariyam Rajan
Lovy is an Editorial Intern at RackBrains.She is a student of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham university.