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Animals and their feeding

The production steps

Guaranteed and controlled quality

The taste qualities of Savoie Cheeses can be attributed, for the most part, to the biodiversity of the environment, combined with the nutritional benefits of the raw ingredient it is based on: milk.

Floral and microbial biodiversity

Floral and microbial biodiversity: a true asset in Pays de Savoie cheese production.

In their production activities, Savoie farmers and cheese makers are faced with the management and leveraging of floral and microbial biodiversity on a daily basis:
  • In Alpine pastures, pastoralists map out their grazing route with due consideration of the significant diversity of vegetation (resulting from geological and climatic conditions as well as their pastoral practices). They also bear in mind the diversity of grasses in their cheese making practices.
  • When producing Beaufort cheese, their use of specific methods enables them to do away with commercial starters by “cultivating” microbial diversity in the dairies.

The impact of the quality of fodder on the texture and flavour of cheeses


Several recent studies have brought to light the impact of the botanical composition of the fodder eaten by dairy cattle on the texture and flavour of cheeses.

These different effects are attributed to the presence of molecules or structures in the milk arising directly as a result of nutrition (carotenes, terpenes) or that are produced by the animal itself (plasmin, fatty acids, the structure of the casein micelles) owing to their genetic or physiological make-up or as a result of a specific diet they are fed.

Unpasteurised milk, the prime ingredient of Savoie cheeses

One of the key distinctive characteristics of Savoie cheeses is the fact that they are made from unpasteurised milk, in other words, the milk doesn't undergo any type of treatment before it is used.

Working with unpasteurised milk allows for the microbial flora naturally present in milk to be preserved: several scores of bacterial species will therefore play a role in forming the sensory and nutritional characteristics of Savoie cheeses, which will develop during the salting and maturing stages. The use of unpasteurised milk, which is a rich, complex product stands out as an exception in the cheese-making domain today. It involves rigorous management of hygiene standards, with the maturing being the only preservation method allowed.

Processing unpasteurised milk requires the use of milk of supreme microbial quality, as harmful germs cannot be destroyed through heat treatment before being used. To this end, milk inspection plans and support offered to producers, shared by both Savoie municipal departments, have been in place for many years.

Monitoring of complementary feed

For several years, the AFTAlp has been drafting specifications on the feed given to cattle in addition to fodder. The aim is to facilitate the task faced by farmers in choosing complementary feed, ensuring the traceability and quality of the raw ingredients. To this end, GMO content is controlled to ensure it does not form part of the feed given to the cattle, as well as other elements which could present technical or health risks.

Farmers add grains, oilseeds and protein to the fresh grass or fodder fed to the cattle. Higher in energy and protein, these elements help to achieve nutritional balance. As it is difficult to produce grains in mountain areas, they are often supplied by food manufacturers. All of these manufacturers adhere to specifications defining, amongst other aspects, the list of permitted raw ingredients and nutritional balance per feed type. Regular analyses of nutritional values and GMO content are conducted.

Naturally healthy

Made from unpasteurised milk, Savoie cheeses have indisputable nutritional qualities. Their provision of calcium, protein, minerals, vitamins and essential fatty acids ensure it is a preferred choice in diets.

  • Calcium: to provide an example, eating a 30g portion of cooked, pressed cheese (such as Emmental de Savoie or Beaufort) covers up to half of a consumer’s daily calcium requirement, depending on their age.
  • Amino acids: these are easily digestible milk proteins, containing the 9 amino acids essential for humans which are not produced by the body.
  • Fatty acids: the richness of the fatty acids in cheese provides the body with beneficial fatty acids that contribute towards good health, while they are an essential source of energy, maintaining cell membrane structure and the proper functioning of the nervous system. Fatty acids transport vitamin A (essential for vision) and vitamin D (essential for calcium absorption).

Owing to the fact that the diet of dairy cattle breeds is based on grass, Savoie cheeses are characterised by a high percentage of unsaturated fatty acids, mainly oleic acid (the fatty acid from olive oil), renowned for its neutral impact on the cardiovascular system.

Nutritional benefits

As is the case with a number of different cheeses, Savoie cheeses are a significant source of calcium and protein. Thus, consuming a 40g portion of cooked, pressed cheese (such as Emmental or Beaufort) covers almost a third of the calcium requirement for a child of 4 to 9 years of age, and a quarter of the requirement for adults over 65 years of age.

The milk proteins have a beneficial composition as they contain 9 amino acids that are essential in the human body (that the body itself is unable to produce) and what’s more, they're easily digestible.

The richness of the fatty acids contained in the cheese is partly owing to its composition: it contains a significant amount of fatty acids that contribute towards good health, that are unsaturated, and whose main component is oleic acid! In addition, the unsaturated fatty acid content of the cheese is significantly increased when the animals are fed a grass-based diet.

Nutritional benefits


To have fun at home

Coloring pages to download


Learn more at school
A free educational kit on Cheeses of Savoy PDO-PGI, exists : pedagogical, playful and attractive, it is at your disposal!
To order it, simply download, fill and return the order form.

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3 ateliers pédagogiques à la carte pour les cycles 2 (CP-CE1) et les cycles 3 (CE2, CM1, CM2).

Pour les classes de Savoie et Haute-Savoie, 3 ateliers peuvent être réalisés en classe :
  • La fabrication des Fromages de Savoie
  • La ronde des sens
  • Les Fromages de Savoie : des acteurs durables du territoire
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