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FAQ Archives - Emmentaler AOP Switzerland

Questions &


of Emmentaler AOP

Frequently asked questions

Here, you will find useful and interesting information about Emmentaler AOP.

Emmentaler AOP is 100% free from artificial additives. Feeding our dairy cows silage is forbidden. Genetically modified organisms (GMO) are also not permitted, so Emmentaler AOP is guaranteed GMO-free.
Emmentaler AOP does not contain lactose, so people with lactose intolerance can enjoy all Emmentaler AOP maturity levels with confidence. The lactose is completely fermented or broken down into lactic acid by the lactic acid bacteria in the first 24 hours.
Different types of rennet are used depending on the dairy:
  • Animal rennet: We use an enzyme obtained from calf stomachs. It contains no meat or stomach parts.
  • Microbial rennet: The enzyme is produced from mould cultures in the laboratory. It is also known as a rennet substitute, and is mostly preferred by vegetarians.
To find out which rennet was used to make your cheese, read the cheese dairy number (found on the cheese rind) to identify the responsible village cheese dairy and ask them directly.
AOP is the abbreviation for ‘Appellation d’Origine Protégée’. Translated, this means ‘protected designation of origin’. In 2006, Emmentaler was granted this protected designation of origin, and the brand has been called ‘Emmentaler AOP’ since then.
What goes into Emmentaler AOP: Its natural ingredients are ideal for a balanced diet.
  • Made from 100% raw milk
  • Free from additives
  • Naturally lactose- and gluten-free
  • Naturally rich in propionic acid = positive effect on the immune system
  • Raw milk products have a positive effect on the microbiome of the intestinal flora
  • Rich in calcium
  • Contains vitamins A, D, B2 and B12
  • Extremely low salt content/100 g: 0.5 g
  • Fat content: 45% FDM (fat in dry matter)
  • Calories/100 g: 395 kcal
Only fresh raw milk from cows that are fed silage-free, i.e. that mainly eat grass and hay, is used for Emmentaler AOP. According to the AOP specifications, the use of additives or genetically modified substances is prohibited.
There are specifications with precise requirements for the production of Emmentaler AOP. These specifications include the geographical area, the exact description of the products, the requirements for milk production, cheese production, and cheese ageing and care. They also specify the Emmentaler AOP Quality assessment, and therefore also the number and size of the holes. Only when the cheese meets all these requirements does it become an Emmentaler AOP. This is our guarantee of the well-being of animals and nature, as well as premium cheese quality for maximum enjoyment.
  • Regionally produced Swiss natural product
  • Clearly defined, geographically limited production area
  • Maximum distance between dairy farmer and dairy: 20 km as the crow flies (short transport routes, low emissions)
  • Use of fresh raw milk (no heating processes allowed), which is processed after a maximum of 24 hours
  • Regional, commercial milk production and processing (no factory/industrial production)
  • Cows enjoy plenty of outdoor exercise (daylight)
  • Cows are fed with fresh grass and hay
  • Genetically engineered feed and preserved silage feed are prohibited
  • Non-intensive farming (Ø 26 cows/dairy farm)
  • Genetically modified rennet and cultures are prohibited
  • Milk volume: 1,200 litres of milk for a whole wheel (around 100 kg)
  • Long ageing process: at least 4-month to 30-month ageing period (high processing quality)
  • Constant care and monitoring during ageing
Take a virtual journey through Emmental to playfully explore the rules: to the interactive experience.
Emmentaler AOP has cherry-sized holes, mostly 2–4 cm in size.
Emmentaler AOP wheels are round, flat to convex and have a diameter of 80–100 cm. They are 16–27 cm high and weigh 75–120 kg (average 95 kg).
The holes typical of Emmentaler AOP form during the maturing process: the natural fermentation produces carbonic acid gas, which collects in various places in the cheese curd and is unable to escape.
Emmentaler AOP contains 0.5 g of table salt per 100 g of cheese, so it has the lowest salt content of all hard cheeses.
According to the specifications, the Emmental area includes the cantons of Aargau, Bern (except the district of Moutier), Glarus, Lucerne, Schwyz, Solothurn, St. Gallen, Thurgau, Zug and Zurich, as well as the See and Sense districts of the canton of Freiburg.
Do you have any more questions?
Do you have any further questions about Emmentaler AOP, or would you like to find out more? Then please contact us by email.


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