top of page
Microbes as Cheese and Wine Makers
Soc 26 Cheese.jpg
Tuesday 11th Feb 2020
Doors Open 18:30 | Event 19:00 - 22:30
De Jonge Admiraal
Javastraat 149, 1094 HE Amsterdam

Microbes as cheese makers


Cheese making entails the coagulation of milk by an enzyme that originates from the stomachs of calves and subsequently it is acidified and fermented by specific microbes. Microbes give flavour through the production of volatile metabolites and they also play a big role on the texture of the product. The arsenal of microbes used in cheese fermentation varies with cheese types and it includes bacteria, fungi and yeasts. From a microbiological point of view cheese making is complex, with a continuous change of growth and ripening conditions combined with microbial communities that work together to give the characteristic properties to the final product.


Current research focuses on different aspects of cheese making. Understanding microbial metabolisms in changing environments, unraveling microbial interactions in complex consortia and eventually using this knowledge to better steer production processes are  some of the challenges. For this modern -omics technologies and biodiversity screenings are relevant. In this session  we will discuss how current research tries to optimally use the microbes as cheesemakers and we will bring along some cheeses to make you taste metabolites made by the master cheesemakers - bacteria.

In this presentation we will follow the main microbiological steps to convert grape must into wine, firstly with the alcoholic fermentation and secondly, for most of the red grape varieties with fermentation. I will be presenting two case studies: 1) industrial wine making, were specialized strains of microbes are used to guarantee consistency and quality of the final wines and 2) controlled spontaneous wine making, where we compared the original microbes from different vineyards during the alcoholic fermentation.


Dr. Herwig Bachmann

Research Associate

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Chrats Melkonian

PhD student

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

image (1).png
bottom of page