Are mold cheeses good for health?
The history of mold cheeses began in ancient times. It is commonly thought that the origin of the white mold cheese is in the Middle East, while the origin of the blue mold cheese is in Europe. Both types of cheese were created by chance, while the cheese was stored in caves with natural molds. Over time, cheese makers learned to grow the types of molds in a controlled manner, and began using them to produce specific flavors and textures.Nowadays the production process is much more efficient, accurate and controlled. To produce a Camembert-like mold cover, ready-made cheese is salted, and coated with a substance known as Penicillium Camembert, which over time develops into a white, soft mold that envelops it from the outside and makes it soft and soft. In order to produce blue mold ‘arteries’, a hump is punctured with iron needles, and Penicillium roquefortii is injected inside, which develops within these canals and creates the familiar blue appearance.


The most famous in this category are the French Roquefort and Bears Blue cheeses, the Italian Gorgonzola, the English Stilton, the German Bavarian Blue and more. According to the geographical distribution, you can see that these cheeses were born in Europe, and in fact only cheeses produced in caves near the village of Roquefort in France are allowed to use the name Roquefort.


What about nutritional values?

On the one hand, the blue cheeses are an excellent source of calcium and protein (about 20 grams of protein per 100 grams and up to 800 mg of calcium per 100 grams of blue mold cheese, for example). On the other hand, these cheeses are rich in calories, fat and sodium. In 100 grams of blue cheese there are about -350 calories, about 30% fat and no less than 1200-1400 mg of sodium – which is a lot. On the other hand, 100 grams of white mold cheese such as Brie or Camembert contains 250-300 calories, about 25% fat and “only” about 400-500 mg of sodium. To explain the ear, the daily recommendation for sodium consumption is 2300 mg C for the general population, and even less so for people with heart and kidney problems and those suffering from blood pressure or diabetes.

In addition, it is customary to attribute several health properties to the mold cheeses:

  • They have anti-inflammatory properties that can help, for example, against arthritis.
  • The composition of the cheese and the way it is prepared make it easier to digest for those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. Some claim that there is a connection between bacteria and molds and the creation of better flora (composition of bacteria) in the intestine.
  • Studies have found a connection between a compound found in blue cheeses called spermidine, and the health of the heart muscle and arteries.
  • The high calcium content in these cheeses contributes to better bone mass and the prevention of osteoporosis.

However, it is important to make a caveat and note that these benefits have been described in small studies or animal studies, so more studies are definitely required to confirm them.

Who is not recommended to consume mold cheeses?

  • For pregnant women: since the presence of the mold reduces the level of acidity, it creates conditions in which Listeria bacteria can develop more easily. These bacteria can be dangerous for these women.
  • For people with sensitivity to mold or penicillin.
  • For those suffering from heart, kidney problems and those suffering from high blood pressure.

You should consult individually with a dietician, in order to intelligently incorporate fatty mold cheeses into your diet.

The author is Adi Bezalel, a general clinical dietician in the Jerusalem District

By Editor

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