Limburger cheese is a type of cheese that is known for its strong, pungent odor. This distinct smell is caused by the bacterium Brevibacterium linens, which is responsible for the reddish-orange rind and pungent aroma of the cheese.
The production of Limburger cheese involves a process called surface ripening, in which the cheese is inoculated with B. linens and then aged for several weeks to several months. As the cheese ages, the bacterium breaks down the cheese’s proteins and fats, releasing various compounds that contribute to the cheese’s strong smell.
One of the compounds produced by B. linens during the ripening process is isovaleric acid, which has a strong, pungent smell. Another compound produced by the bacterium is 3-methylbutanal, which has a smell similar to body odor. These compounds, along with others produced during the ripening process, contribute to the distinctive smell of Limburger cheese.
The strong smell of Limburger cheese can be off-putting to some people, but it is highly prized by others who appreciate its unique flavor and aroma. In fact, Limburger cheese has a long history of being enjoyed by people in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands, where it originated.
Despite its strong smell, Limburger cheese can be an important part of a healthy diet. It is a good source of protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients, and it can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Some people enjoy eating Limburger cheese on crackers or bread, while others use it in recipes such as sandwiches and fondues.
In conclusion, the strong, pungent smell of Limburger cheese is caused by the bacterium Brevibacterium linens, which breaks down the cheese’s proteins and fats during the ripening process and releases various compounds that contribute to the cheese’s distinctive aroma. While the smell of Limburger cheese may be off-putting to some, it is highly prized by others for its unique flavor and aroma, and it can be an important part of a healthy diet.