Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Cheesy science questions

Well, to be accurate, questions about the science of cheese, a field far more interesting than you might think.  From a recent article in Wired, here's an excerpt from an answer to the question, "Why are there holes in Swiss cheese?"
The CO2 gas accumulates at the weaker spots in the cheese matrix, forming the bubbles that we call “holes” or “eyes.” Some 120 liters (32 gallons) of carbon dioxide are generated during ripening of a 175-pound wheel of Swiss cheese. About a third of the of the gas escapes into the air, half of it stays dissolved in the curd, and the rest forms the eyes.
There are many more fascinating questions and answers in the article, which you can access here.