Cheese Quality, Cultures and Terroir

Head of Research Group



Research Project


Developing a Better Understanding of the Genetic and Metabolic Diversity of Micro-organisms, and Making Targeted Use of this for Cheese, Sauerkraut and Co.

Microbial biodiversity is huge, and our current understanding of the subject is still inadequate. This also holds true for fermented foods such as cheeses or raw, cured sausages, especially when they are manufactured without heat treatment and with starter cultures composed of undefined and diverse microorganisms (MOs). This research project aims to understand the biodiversity of the MOs used and to develop scientific principles for making targeted use of and preserving said biodiversity.


Optimising Cheese Quality through Practical Trials and Knowledge Transfer

As the only remaining breed of horse with its origins in Switzerland, the Franches-Montagnes is particularly important. Agroscope’s Swiss National Stud has genetically diverse breeding stallions, and offers their services at covering stations throughout Switzerland. Moreover, research into the management of small populations not only promotes species diversity, but also the marketability of the horses. The methods thus developed can also be used for other livestock.


Microbial Systems in Cheese

The production of cheese from raw milk is an important unique selling point on the competitive international market, contributing strongly to the product’s qualitative and sensorial differentiation. Knowledge of the biodiversity and metabolism of the microbial flora of cheeses is very important for this. By developing cutting-edge analytical methods, Agroscope makes an important contribution to ensuring the quality leadership of Swiss cheeses.

Biopreservation for a Positive Influence on the Food Microbiome

Biopreservation represents a still-underestimated means of positively influencing the food microbiome. The aims of this project are to study the biodiversity contained in cheese flora and to analyse the protective effects of the latter against pathogenic organisms and organisms which alter food quality.


Production of Microbial Cultures

The terroir- and variety-specific microbial cultures developed and manufactured by Agroscope represent a key success factor for commercially produced Swiss cheese varieties, and ensure that the latter will survive in international competition into the future, owing to their uniqueness in the global context and the quality of their cultures.


Microbial Cultures for Food Quality, Safety and Proof of Origin

Reliable microbial cultures contribute decisively to the quality, safety, differentiation and authenticity of cheeses and other fermented foods. New starter- and special cultures are developed by making use of the biodiversity of the Liebefeld Strain Collection.