Ingredients manufacturers are seeking new ways to help dairy manufactures add value and extend their product lines. Along with the health benefits offered by probiotics, new aromas that appeal to consumers are emerging as a means of differentiation in the category. "The ripened cheese market is very much driven by the quest of consumers for cheeses with a more specific and stronger aroma," said Gilles Arpaillanges, who is responsible for dairy technical support for surface and ripening cultures. He said that the combination of sweet, fruity or floral creamy notes with a creamy texture are particularly popular. The culture, Geotrichum fragrans, was developed using computerised cheese modelling process, which enabled the R&D team to study a culture's aromatic profile using chromatography and olfactometry. G. fragrans is a fungus that develops naturally on the surface of certain cheeses. It forms part of the normal flora of Saint Nectaire. The culture is either inoculated in the milk or applied to the surface of ripening cheeses, and expresses itself bext at temperatures exceeding 12 c. Its activity is explained as metabolising and quickly hydrolyzing the milk fats, then producing volatile aromatic compounds such as esters and alcohols. In addition, it allows the pH value to be raised, but degrading the lactic acid. When combined with other microbial flavouring cultures from Cargill's range, G fragrans is said to be suitable for all the main cheese technologies - soft and hard alike. This is not the first time that culture-makers have targeted cheese consumers with fruity designs. In late 2005 Danisco extended its Choozit range of cheese cultures with a tutti-fruity flavoured Geotrichum candidum, intended for a range of soft cheeses from goat's cheese to camembert. Cargill claims that the difference between its strain and G candidum is that it generates more fruity aromatic notes such as apple and banana and fresh, soft, creamy notes. G fragrans was developed in France. Cargill Texturizing Solutions has its global headquarters in Belgium. A spokesperson said that the primary market for the culture is presently pan-European.