Research Projects


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.


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 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.

Apfel  Brombeere Salat

Quality of Plant Products

“Healthy, resource-saving, value-oriented yet enjoyable” – that’s the motto of the Qual-3P Project. The aim of the project is to maintain and improve the quality of domestic plant products – especially fruit and vegetables – from harvest to the consumer’s plate or glass. Here, the focus is on strengthening the role of plant products both in the human diet and in the production of high-quality foodstuffs.

Apfel Schalenmikrobiom

Less Food Waste and Higher Post-Harvest Quality of Fruit and Vegetables

The quality of plant products can decrease post-harvest owing to physiological or microbial damage. This leads to high losses along the value chain. Through innovative research and knowledge transfer, the project ‘Post-Harvest Quality of Fruit and Vegetables’ aims to increase quality, and thus reduce losses. This in turn contributes to the resource-efficient production of plant products.


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.


Improvement of the Nutritional Profile of Foods through Fermentation

“Good food, healthy environment” – Agroscope’s mission is key to the research strategy of the ‘Fermentomics’ programme, which creates added value in food through fermentation. This added value is objectively documented via the linking of the quality of these natural foods with human metabolic health.


Consumer Quality Perception of Traditional and Alternative Protein-Containing Foods

The influence of sensory and other characteristic quality factors of agricultural products on popularity with consumers and consumer acceptance is systematically recorded under conditions that are as consumer-oriented as possible. The focus here is on traditional regionally produced foods, as well as new foods produced from alternative plant-protein sources.


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.


Verstehen, wie antibiotikaresistente und krankmachende Bakterien aus der Umwelt über Nahrungsmittel zum Menschen gelangen

Bisher ist nur wenig bekannt, wie Antibiotikaresistenzen aus der Umwelt – und konkret aus dem Boden und Wasser oder Dünger– auf pflanzliche Lebensmittel gelangen. Am Beispiel von Salat suchen die Forschenden, nach Antworten, mit dem Ziel, einen wichtigen Beitrag zum Schutz der Konsumentinnen und Konsumenten zu leisten.

Previous Projects Work Programme 2014-2017

Pflanzliche Lebensmittel Frontseite

Quality and Nutritional Aspects of Plant Based Foods

The path travelled by fruits and vegetables from field to table is optimised with the aim of keeping quality as high as possible along the entire value chain. Health and gastronomy go hand-in-hand thanks to practical research.

Käsequalität und Authentizität

Cheese Quality and Authenticity

The international trend towards protecting designations of origin (AOP cheese) also provides Swiss cheeses with a unique opportunity to position themselves as traditional natural cheeses on the world market. This is conditional upon cheeses of Swiss origin meeting all the international requirements relating to quality, safety and traceability and being perceived as premium products.

Projekt Kulturen, Biodiversität und Terroir Kulturenflaschen

Cultures, Biodiversity and Terroir

All the cultures produced by Agroscope stem predominantly from the original biodiversity of fermentation organisms in Switzerland. The naturalness of these cultures (for the most part in bud quality) offers promising potential for the differentiation of Swiss cheese from the foreign competition.