Cheese made using celebrities’ bacteria – including Professor Green mozzarella

From a gooey brie to a crumbly parmesan, cheese comes in a range of delicious forms.

Now, scientists have given our favourite cheeses a celebrity update, using several well-known faces’ bacteria to culture the cheeses.

The project is part of the V&A’s upcoming exhibition, FOOD: Bigger than the Plate, and is being led by biodesigner Helene Steiner, chef John Quilter and scientist Dr Thomas Meany.

While the idea of using celebrity bacteria to culture cheese might make you feel a bit queasy, the aim of the project is to remove this feeling.

A statement explained: “The project seeks to educate the public and challenge cultural squeamishness about bacteria.

“It draws on recent scientific studies of the microbiome and its importance in how the human body functions.

“Contemporary society focuses on cleanliness and hyper-sanitation, however our gut health and experience of the world around us – taste, smell – are dependent on the microbial world.”

To create the cheeses, the experts took bacteria samples from the surface of five celebrities’ skins – Alex James, Heston Blumenthal, Professor Green, Ruby Tandoh and Suggs.


Using synthetic biology, the bacteria were used to grow starter cultures, which were then combined with fresh, pasteurised milk to create five unique cheeses:

– Cheshire cheese made using Alex James’s bacteria

– Comte made using Heston Blumenthal’s bacteria

– Mozzarella made using Professor Green’s bacteria

– Stilton made using Ruby Tandoh’s bacteria

– Cheddar made using Suggs’ bacteria

If you want to see them for yourself, the cheeses will be exhibited within a fridge at the exhibition.

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