The Briny, Gaseous Chemical Reactions That Make Stinky Cheese So Intolerably Odiferous

In a rather odiferous episode, ACS Reactions takes a look at the manner in which washed-rind cheeses are made, noting specifically the briny, gaseous chemical reaction that takes place to make the smell of these cheeses so particularly intolerable. The washing and aging process attracts a certain bacteria that breaks down the proteins and release a particularly stinky gas similar to that of body odor.

Washing creates a warm moist salty environment that certain microorganisms love and the star of stink is a bacterium called brevibacterium linens…you know what else is warm moist and salty? Sweaty human skin. Close relatives of B linens, like B epidermidis have been found on human feet.