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Have you ever heard of ‘sonochemistry’? It’s the study of how sound waves affect solid bodies, and a recent experiment carried out by researchers at Bern university have delved into it in the context of maturing cheeses.

The researchers used 9 barrels of Emmental cheese that they put in a cheese cellar and over the process of six months subjected each cheese to a different type of music.

One cheese listened to ‘The Magic Flute’ by Mozart, another rocked out to ‘Stairway to Heaven’ by Led Zeppelin. Other cheeses were given ‘A Tribe Called Quest’, techno music and specific frequency tones. Another cheese matured simply in silence.

It was concluded that the cheese exposed to A Tribe Called Quest had the best flavour compared to other music. It was said to have a better aroma and flavour.

ZHAW Food Perception Research Group, which concluded that the cheese exposed to music had a milder flavor compared to the non-musical cheese. They also found that the hip-hop cheese had a stronger aroma and stronger flavour than other samples. With these initial findings, the cheeses will be examined at the molecular level to see if there are any structural differences that have been brought about by the music.

‘Sonochemistry’ is a niche area of science but being able to talk about unusual areas of research shows a lot of initiative in an interview situation. If you can discuss evidence from a variety of perspectives, this will show great research skills.

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