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Last Updated: Friday, 26 November, 2004, 11:12 GMT
'World's smelliest cheese' named
Dr Stephen White takes a whiff
Dr Stephen White says washed rind cheeses were the smelliest
Scientists at a Bedfordshire university have found what could be the smelliest cheese in the world.

Vieux Boulogne, a soft cheese from northern France, beat 14 other whiffy varieties in tests.

Experts at Cranfield University - who led the research - used an "electronic nose" to analyse the cheese odours, along with a panel of 19 human testers.

English Cheddar, aged between six and 24 months, was one of the least smelly cheeses tested, along with Parmesan.

Senior research officer at Cranfield University, Dr Stephen White, said: "The smelliest cheeses were washed rind cheeses.

Love it or loathe it, the sign of a fine cheese is often its characteristic smell as well as its flavour and texture
Sally Clarke of Fine Cheeses from France
"There was no obvious correlation between the age of the selected cheeses and smelliness, nor type of milk origin, although cows' milk cheeses did dominate the smell chart."

The particularly pungent smell of the Vieux Boulogne is created by the beer reacting with enzymes in the cheese.

It even beat Epoisses de Bourgogne, a cheese so smelly it is banned from being taken on public transport in its native France.

The electronic nose is a machine equipped with sensors to detect different chemical aromas. It is connected to a computer which analyses the different smells.

The experiment was commissioned by Fine Cheeses from France, a body that promotes French cheese in the UK.

Sally Clarke, of Fine Cheeses from France, said: "Love it or loathe it, the sign of a fine cheese is often its characteristic smell as well as its flavour and texture and we wanted to find out if France's reputation for producing smelly cheeses was true."

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