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After nearly a century of study and research, the mystery holes in certain Swiss cheeses, including Emmental and Appenzell, was finally pierced.

Agroscope researchers, together with those of the Empa (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research), discovered that the “holes” are caused by small particles of hay, which fall in milk during milking cows.
These particles emit gases during fermentation, which eventually from the holes in the cheese, said the institute. The researchers made this discovery when they found that the holes tend to disappear when the milk was extracted with more modern techniques.
“It is the disappearance of the traditional bucket” under the udder of the cow, and replaced by more modern and more hygienic techniques, which is causing the disappearance of “holes,” said a spokesman of Agroscope.
“It is a discovery that was made completely by accident, like any great discoveries,” said the spokesman of Agroscope.
Through it, we now know that by varying the dosage of hay microparticles, it can almost control the desired number of holes in its wheels.