Types of Cheese Made With Active Cultures

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Cheese is widely consumed and enjoyed by people across the world. France, Italy, and Germany are especially renowned for their cheeses. There are virtually infinite ways to produce cheese, but some cheeses involve the use of active cultures (such as probiotic bacteria). Active cultures impart a distinct flavor and have unique health benefits.

Cottage Cheese

  • Cottage cheese is consumed as a breakfast, an appetizer, or used in recipes. Active culture cottage cheese often contains the bacteria L. acidophilus and B. bifidus (which are also present in yogurt). These active cultures can improve health and help give cottage cheese its mildly sour flavor.

Goat Cheese

  • Some goat cheeses are made with active cultures. The cheese and food company Liberte, for example, produces an active culture "fresh cheese" made from goat milk. The cheese has the consistency of yogurt.

Montgomery Cheddar

  • This kind of cheddar comes from England and is made from cow's milk that has been left unpasteurized, giving rise to the active cultures within it. The cheese has a brittle texture and has been aged for over one year. The active cultures give the flavor of a certain variety.

Other Dairy Products

  • While not technically a cheese, yogurt is the most common dairy product containing active cultures. Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacteria bifidus, and Lactobacillus bulgaricus are examples of bacteria that inhabit the food and, by extension, your digestive tract. Many sour creams produced by the organic companies also contain active cultures.

Health Benefits of Active Cultures

  • The World Health Organization recommends eating cheeses and other foods with active cultures on a daily basis. Such foods can bolster immunity, improve digestion, minimize symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and raise levels of good cholesterol.

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  • Photo Credit Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images
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