Learn more about Bel

Here you will find a selected list of frequently asked questions to learn more about Bel and some curiosities about our cheese.

The single-serving portions format has many benefits for our consumers. Besides its fun and convenient characteristics, it also preserves our products perfectly and provides a solution to such societal challenges as food safety, nutritional balance and even the fight against food waste. It practically serves as a measure to help consumers eat the quantity adapted to their needs. Aware of sustainable development issues, Bel takes a serious view of its environmental footprint and leads an initiative to continuously improve its packaging.

Milk, dairy products and cheese effectively help cover calcium intake needs. That’s why health authorities around the world recommend eating dairy products on a daily basis. The calcium content of our cheeses vary depending on the recipe and the region of the world to adapt to local needs and processes. On average, Bel cheeses contain 120mg to 900mg of calcium per 100 grams of product.

At Bel, the nutritional quality of our cheeses is of particular importance. Which is why we are continuously improving our recipes. Salt plays vital technical, health and organoleptic roles in the cheese making process. The salt content in Bel products is on par with that of other cheeses, and as such is fully compatible with a balanced diet. Nevertheless, attentive to the recommendation of public health officials, Bel progressively reduces the salt content of its products as long as the food safety or the taste or texture of our cheeses is not diminished. The salt content in The Laughing Cow®, for example, has been reduced by 20% since 2000.

You don’t know? Bel is a family company named after its founder, Jules Bel. It all began in 1865, when he set up his comté cheese curing and trading business in the Jura region of France. In 1904, his son Léon took over the business. At the end of the First World War, the cheese industry boomed. Léon Bel saw the potential of processed cheese: tasty, cheap, easy to transport and with a longer shelf life. In 1922, he founded the Fromageries Bel Company, now headed by Antoine Fiévet who represents the 5th generation of family directors.

The wax used to coat Mini Babybel® is a combination of paraffin and microcrystalline waxes, along with a natural colorant. Its “food contact” quality conforms to very stringent regulatory standards. If you accidentally swallow it, no need to worry, as it carries no health risks.

That’s perfectly normal! Both cheeses belong to the processed cheese family. As such, they undergo an ultra-high temperature (UHT) treatment during the cheese making process and are immediately packaged hot in hermetically sealed packages to ensure air-tightness. Just like a carton of UHT milk, you can store them without refrigeration at moderate room temperature. However, to better appreciate their taste, we recommend keeping them in your fridge.

The Laughing Cow® does contain E330, more commonly know as citric acid. Citric acid occurs naturally in lemons and other citrus fruit, from which it takes its name, and can also be produced for use in food. Its sole purpose in cheese making is to give cheese a uniform texture. Citric acid is authorized for use as a safe food additive by European and world health and food safety authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

Absolutely not! Our specifications are strict. We use only quality ingredients, which are subjected to rigorous tests in our laboratories. The Laughing Cow® is made from skimmed milk, quality cheeses (cheddar, gouda, emmental) from which the rinds are removed, and butter. To obtain a creamy texture, we add milk proteins as well as emulsifying salts.

At Bel, we use aluminum to wrap some of the cheeses we make, such as The Laughing Cow® and Boursin®. Aluminum wrapping keeps our cheeses from drying out and protects them from exposure to oxygen, light, impurities, and microorganisms. The food-grade aluminum foil used in our packaging makes an insignificant contribution to natural aluminum intake. Further, our control and monitoring process involves a set of criteria that includes aluminum.

Mini Babybel® is indeed made up of 98% milk, as well as salt, bacterial cultures and microbial enzymes like the majority of pressed cheeses.