Cheese production

Cheese production

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Credit: PASCAL GOETGHELUCK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: MODEL RELEASED. Making cheese with mites. Cheese producer sprinkling cheese mites (Tyrophagus casei) on her cheeses. Although infestation with mites is considered harmful to most cheeses, they are deliberately introduced into certain varieties to give a strong, distinctive flavour. A "ripe" cheese of this kind is covered with a grey powder consisting of living and dead mites, their moulted skins and faeces. Cheese mites reproduce rapidly, with a life cycle of only 18 days. They can cause dermatitis (skin inflammation) in exposed workers. Photographed in the Auvergne region of France.

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