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Swiss turn to DNA fingerprinting to protect their cheese.

Swiss cheesemakers’ weapon against forgeries is housed at minus 80 degrees Celsius in a Bern freezer. It’s here where scientists keep 10,000 strains of milk bacteria to guard against copycats.

The country’s cheese industry, worth 604 million Swiss francs ($706 million) in exports last year, has turned to DNA fingerprinting to fight counterfeits, which Emmental producers estimate have cost them as much as 20 million francs.

Forgeries are contributing to declining revenue for an industry that’s already beleaguered because of high production costs and the rise in value of the Swiss franc, which makes the country’s cheese more expensive abroad. About 10 per cent of cheese labeled as Swiss-made Emmental on supermarket shelves is fake, estimates association Switzerland Cheese Marketing.

 

click here for the full article: http://www.smh.com.au/business/world-business/swiss-turn-to-dna-fingerprinting-to-protect-their-cheese-20140827-1090gh.html

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