Succinyl CoA

Figure 5-8. The propionic acid pathway of propionibacteria. Only the key intermediate compounds are shown. Adapted from Hutkins, 2001.

makers have adopted various professional tricks, from tapping the cheese and listening for just the right echo, to visually examining the expansion of the wheel or block.

Finally, when the cheese leaves the warm room, it is moved into a cooler at 2°C to 5°C for aging, which can vary from three months to two or more years. In addition to the acid products (i.e., propionic and acetic acids), P. freudenreichii subsp. shermanii is also responsible for producing other important end-products. In particular, P. freudenreichii subsp. shermanii produces specialized peptidases that release proline, which has a sweet-like fla-vor.Various other amino acids and peptides are also metabolized, generating nutty flavors that are characteristic of Swiss cheese.

Variations of the traditional Swiss or Em-menthaler cheese (made in Switzerland) include Gruyere (France), Jarlsberg (Norway), and Samsoe (Denmark).All of these have a natural rind and varying levels of eye formation. In the United States, rindless versions are more common, with the cheese blocks wrapped in CO2-impermeable plastic wrapping.

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