Micro-organisms need to be added to milk to produce cheese, yoghurt and other fermented milk products. They covert lactose into lactic acid and other fermentation products. This so-called fermentation results in the acidification of the product and plays a part in aroma formation as well as in forming the holes and rind of cheese.
The cultures supplied by Agroscope evolved from around 100 years of research work by the former Dairy Industry Research Station. Most of the cultures produced today were collected in Swiss cheese dairies between 20 and 30 years ago, then tested and preserved. They have not been genetically engineered in any way.
Agroscope sells the cultures chiefly to commercial cheesemakers throughout Switzerland. The range encompasses approximately 40 cultures, 2/3 of them supplied in bud quality (Bio Suisse).