Traditional cheeses have a reputation as being exceptionally delicious. These cheeses are generally effective in helping to fight pathogenic bacteria. Scientists have demonstrated that traditional cheeses have significant advantages in terms of both their diversity and their richness and also dealing their protection against pathogenic agents reported INRA - Paris on May 16, 2014.
Traditional cheeses describes cheeses with production in limited geographical areas along with the use of specific know-how and techniques which are handed down from generation to generation. Milk that has undergone little or no treatment after milking is used for traditional cheeses. Raw milk traditional cheeses often come from mountainous areas and are primarily produced in small processing units.
The benefits of traditional, raw-milk cheeses have been explored by research scientists from INRA, Université de Caen and Université de Franche-Comté. The benefits of these cheeses are associated with the specific microbiota which are found in these cheeses. This results from the use of raw milk in combination with the specific techniques which are used to manufacture traditional cheeses.
The diversity of the traditional methods used in their manufacture results in the rich and highly specific microbiota of traditional cheeses. During the process of development from the production of milk to the ripening of cheeses in various environments there are a wide range of micro-organisms which have an opportunity to develop. Raw milk itself already contains almost 300 species of bacteria and 70 species of yeasts. These are subsequently found in differing amounts in the cheeses. The microbiota of cheeses accounts for their various aromas and flavors. The micro-organisms which are native to raw milk may enable the more intense and complex development of many aromatic compounds.
This study has been published in the journal International Journal of Food Microbiology. Researchers have found flavor is more intense and rich in raw milk cheeses than is seen in processed cheeses. This is primarily because an abundant native microbiota can be expressed in raw milk cheeses. This is not the case in cheeses which are made from pasteurized or microfiltered milk.
The capacity of traditional cheeses to fight pathogens is associated with native antipathogenic strains found in them. Studies have found a strong association of raw-milk consumption with protection against allergic/atopic diseases. More studies are necessary to determine whether such an association extends to traditional raw-milk cheese consumption. In the meantime traditional cheeses are generally delicious with good nutritional value.