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I have read on packaging that a Gruyère appears to be around 0 g, maybe 0.4 g carbohydrates per 100g. How come it tastes sweet?

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Cheese is a complex variety of chemical compounds some of which can taste sweet. I don't know the exact make up of Gruyère but according to this article there are a couple of compounds that are known to lend a sweet flavor. Including: butyric acid, Alanine, glycine, serine, threonine, ethanol, etc.

Wikipedia says that Gruyère is a "sweet" cheese so I would assume these compounds mentioned above are in higher amounts than other cheeses.

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  • Makes sense. It could be the furaneol or the butyric acid.
    – noumenal
    Feb 16 '18 at 19:49
  • Butyric acid could certainly bring the sour/pungent element that we associate with something being CLOYINGLY sweet. Ethanol? Ironically, it isn't sweet but chemically not that far from a sugar. Feb 16 '18 at 20:04
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    I'm only quoting the article. As a person in the wine industry for decades ethanol does have a sweet component and this peer reviewed article backs me up ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10940547 Feb 16 '18 at 20:35
  • Ethanol is certainly sweet and fruity.
    – Alchimista
    Feb 18 '18 at 13:52

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