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The Chemistry of Camembert


© Compound Interest

The Chemistry of Camembert

The creaminess of camembert is bested by few other cheeses – but it also has a strong smell to rival blue cheeses that reminds you of its presence in your fridge! Additionally, unlike many other cheeses, as it’s left for longer its insides start to become more gooey. Here we take a look at some camembert chemistry, and try to uncover the chemical reasons behind the cheese’s unusual characteristics.

Camembert is a surface-ripened cheese; other surface-ripened cheeses including brie, cambozola, and a number of goat cheeses. Hard cheeses ripen internally, as a result of a number of processes involving milk and microbial enzymes. However, surface-ripened cheeses, as the name suggests, ripen from the outside in, with the hard outer rind of the cheese actually consisting of a layer of mould which facilitates this process.

  • diacetyl
  • methanethiol
  • butyric acid
  • cheeses
  • Penicillium camemberti
  • Geotrichum candidum
  • calcium phosphates
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