Swiss cheese originated in the Emme Valley in Switzerland during the 15th century. The Swiss cheese is also called as Emmental cheese. This cheese is a hard variety known by its following characteristics:

  • Shining eyes with smooth waxy texture
  • Sweet nutty taste with a milk flavour
  • Swiss cheese should have a sliceable texture, regular, round holes, dull to brilliant appearance
  • 45% minimum fat on dry weight basis
  • Mild nut like taste and a minimum of 60 days old before consumption.

Position in the world:

  • First - Cheddar cheese
  • Second - Mozzarella Cheese
  • Third - Swiss Cheese

How to make Swiss Cheese? - FLOW DIAGRAM




Heat treatment 63°C for 30 min.

Cooling 32°C

Starter addition

(Streptococcus thermophilus 1%, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp bulgaricus 0.045%;
Propionibacterium freudenreichii subsp shermanii 0.025%)

Ripening 32°C for 55 min.

Renneting 1.5g/100 liters


Fore working 32°C for 40 min

Pre-drawing 1/3rd whey

Cooking 52° with in 30min

Stirring at 52°C for 40min

Pressing lightly for 1 ½ hours

Pressing overnight

Brining 23% brine for 48hrs

Cold storage drying 7 days 8-10°C (85% R.H)


Hot curing 22°C, 85% R.H. 6-8 weeks

Cold curing (at 10°C)

Mechanism of eye formation in Swiss cheese

Propionic acid fermentation is the important type of fermentation taking place in Swiss types of cheese, which is brought about by propionic acid bacteria, chiefly Propionibacterium shermanii. These propionic acid bacteria grow under anaerobic conditions, utilizing calcium lactate as the substrate and produce propionate, acetate, water and carbon dioxide as end products.

In the presence of high salt concentration, part of carbon dioxide is produced by decarboxylation of amino acids (for example tyrosine and arginine) by enterococci. It has been reported that 50% of lactate is metabolized by propionibacteria and fermentation of lactate is happening at the center than in the periphery. The conducive atmosphere to initiate propionic acid fermentation are ripening temperature between 18-20°C, relative humidity around 85% and the duration between 6 and 8 weeks, leading to eye formation.

Different stages involved in carbon dioxide production and eye formation

CO2 Production & CO2 diffusion
(starts at beginning of lactic acid fermentation)

Accumulation of CO2 in cheese body
(Propionic acid fermentation)

Over saturation at the centers of the future eye formation
(Propionic acid fermentation)

Onset of formation of eyes at these centers
(Approx 20-30days)

Increase in the number of eyes.


The flavor components of Swiss cheese are generally divided into two major groups. They are

1. Volatile: volatile fatty acids (VFA), primary and secondary alcohols, methyl ketones, aldehydes, esters, lactones, alkanes, aromatic and nitrogen containing compounds.

2. Non-volatile: peptides, peptones, fatty and amino acids, organic and inorganic acids and salts.

Volatile compounds After hot curing
(in 100 g of cheese)

After 140 days
(in 100 g of cheese)

Propionic acid
Acetic acid
Butyric acid
Higher fatty acids
344 mg
167 mg
18 mg
30 mg
630 mg
290 mg
38 mg
50 mg

Defects in Swiss cheese

S.No Defect Description Probable-cause
1 Blind No eyes Over ripening (or) too acid milk
2 Small eyes Less than 0.4”diameter 1. Excess gas generation
2. Disturbed curd
3 shell Nut shell appearance on eye surface 1.Excess fat in milk and curd
2. Eyes that develop too slowly
4 Glass Clear-cut parallel cracks if excess, cheese slice does not cut properly 1. Too acid and too fat rich milk
2. Poor whey drainage and curd becomes brittle
5 Frog mouth Rind splits on surface to give appearance on open frog mouth 1. Poorly developed weak inelastic rind
2. Careless handling of cheese in press which becomes too cold
6 Blow hole Very large eyes more than 5” in diameter 1. Poor sanitary conditions of milk production
2. Cows fed on grass and silage
7 Uneven/abnormal eye distribution Cooled too quickly on one side
8 Whey spotted 1. Whey spotted
2. Poor whey drainage – becomes water logged on rind surface

Bacteriological defects

1) Late fermentation : Clostridium tyrobutiricum

2) Bitter cheese: Streptococcus fecalis var liquefaciens

3) Flavor: Putrid, unclean, fruity, rancid

4) Colour : Brown spots (Propinobacterium rubrum)