The Cheese Wire

Tyrosine Crystals

If you’re a cheese enthusiast, you’ve probably had the pleasure of biting into a crunchy tyrosine crystal within the cheese. For most people, that crunchy bite can be a little confusing – what is it, anyway? 


Tyrosine crystals are the crunchy bites that are found on the interior of aged cheese and are bright white in color. They form when proteins in the cheese break down and begin to unravel during the aging process. Amino acids called tyrosine are released and cluster together into hard crystals. You can usually find tyrosine crystals in aged cheddar, gouda, and parmesan.

Different from tyrosine crystals is calcium lactate. You’ll find these crystals on the surface of a cheese, like our own Flagship. Calcium lactate is simply a salt formed when lactic acid (milk sugar lactose) and calcium combine. 

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