Your 20 most frequently asked questions
We are proud to be trusted by 400 million consumers worldwide.

We have earned this trust thanks to the quality, traceability and food safety of our products.We are aware, however, that questions about Bel, our social responsibility or our products may arise, so our experts have answered here your 20 most frequently asked questions.

I have always wondered what the casing of Mini Babybel® is made from ?

I have always wondered what the casing of Mini Babybel® is made from ?

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.

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Can you guarantee the quality and safety of your products throughout
the world ?

Can you guarantee the quality and safety of your products throughout the world ?

It is our responsibility to guarantee the quality, traceability and food safety of our products from the very earliest stage of the production chain through to consumption, everywhere in the world. Each stage of the life cycle of our products is closely monitored and entirely traceable.

Our 27 production sites throughout the world are governed by stringent quality and safety requirements defined by the Group.

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Where did the name Bel come from ?

Where did the name Bel come from ?

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

Find out more about Bel history

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Are the Bel international brands consumed in France made in France ?

Are the Bel international brands consumed in France made in France ?

100 % of The Laughing Cow®, Kiri®, Mini Babybel® and Boursin® products sold in France are produced in France. Except for Leerdammer® which is produced in its country of origin, Holland.

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What are food additives ? Do your cheeses contain any ?

What are food additives ? Do your cheeses contain any ?

Bel may incorporate food additives into its recipes for a specific purpose, such as to increase shelf life or to obtain a creamy consistency. All additives used by Bel comply with official food safety requirements. In response to consumer wishes, however, the Bel Group has undertaken to reduce the use of food additives wherever it does not pose a risk for food safety or eating enjoyment.

And when there is no need for additives in a cheese, there are none, as in the case of red Mini Babybel® or Boursin® garlic and herbs.

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The Laughing Cow® and Apéricube® are sometimes found on non-refrigerated shelves. Is this normal ?

The Laughing Cow® and Apéricube® are sometimes found on non-refrigerated shelves. Is this normal ?

That’s perfectly normal! These cheeses are members of the processed cheese family. The manufacture of processed cheese entails treatment at ultra-high temperature (UHT) immediately followed by packaging while hot in hermetically sealed packages, ensuring air-tightness.
Just like your UHT milk, you can store them without refrigeration at normal room temperature! However to better appreciate their taste, we recommend you to keep it in your fridge.

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It is said that the E330 additive found in The Laughing Cow® could be a health risk. Is this true ?

It is said that the E330 additive found in The Laughing Cow® could be a health risk. Is this true ?

The Laughing Cow® does contain E330, commonly known as citric acid. It can be found in its natural state in citrus fruits, which have given it its name. However, it can also be produced for use in foods.

You advertise Mini Babybel as being 98% milk – What is the other 2% ?

You advertise Mini Babybel as being 98% milk – What is the other 2% ?

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

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How can we find out the ingredients of Bel products and their nutritional content ?

How can we find out the ingredients of Bel products and their nutritional content ?

Giving our consumers access to nutritional information is a key factor in promoting a balanced diet. Bel brands worldwide provide this information on their packaging, websites and customer services dedicated to nutritional matters.

Feel free to ask question to the Bel customer service

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Why do you choose the format of portion for some of your cheese ?

Why do you choose the format of portion for some of your cheese ?

The portion has many advantages: food safety, preservation and a right amount of cheese that can meet the nutritional needs without excess and limit food waste.

Aware of the challenges of sustainable development, Bel considers its ecological footprint as primordial and follows a policy of continual improvement of its packaging.

To learn more about the Group’s environmental approach

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Is The Laughing Cow® really made from low-grade cheeses or even
cheese rinds ?

Is The Laughing Cow® really made from low-grade cheeses or even cheese rinds ?

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.

Do your cheeses contain enough calcium ?

Do your cheeses contain enough calcium ?

Milk, dairy and cheeses are good sources of calcium. That is why public health authorities recommend the consumption of 3 dairy products per day. One portion of Bel cheese counts as one of these products.
Depending on recipes and parts of the world, the calcium content of our cheeses varies, adapted to local needs and customs. In Egypt for example, calcium and vitamin D deficiencies can be noticed. Therefore, The Laughing Cow® has been fortified to obtain 60% of the calcium Nutrient Reference Value (600 mg / 100 g) and 15% of the vitamin D Nutrient Reference Value (0.75 µg / 100 g).

Is your packaging environmentally friendly ?

Is your packaging environmentally friendly ?

Before it becomes waste, our packaging fulfils a number of specific functions: preserving and protecting the products, enabling their safe transport and storage, providing information to consumers, etc.

To reduce its ecological footprint, Bel follows a policy of continual improvement and eco-design of its packaging, with an emphasis on the selection and reduction of packaging materials at the source.

Our goal? To limit the quantity of materials used to the bare minimum, whilst meeting technical and regulatory requirements (food hygiene, safety, and preservation, protection, information, etc).

For example, the thickness of the aluminum packaging wrapped around the Kiri® portion has been reduced to 10 microns.

To learn more about the Group’s environmental approach

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Are emulsifying salts
harmful ?

Are emulsifying salts harmful ?

Emulsifying salts are used in processed cheeses such as The Laughing Cow®, Kiri® and Apéricube®, to aid in the blending of different types of cheese and other dairy products and give a smooth and even texture to the cheese. It’s a bit like white wine that is used to thicken all the cheese in a fondue.

The quantity of salts necessary for producing Bel processed cheeses is less than the regulations allow. Emulsifying salts in such doses have been studied scientifically and proven to be safe.

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Where does the milk for your cheeses come from ?

Where does the milk for your cheeses come from ?

Bel collects 1.5 billion litres of milk straight from 3,300 dairy farmers. The milk is supplied by independent operators in dairy farming areas near our production sites: France, the Netherlands, Portugal, Ukraine, and Slovakia.

For the United States subsidiary, for example, milk is supplied by dairy cooperatives as prescribed by the Group’s sustainable purchasing charter.

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Isn't cheese too high in fat ?

Isn't cheese too high in fat ?

Produced from milk, cheese naturally contains milk fats.
A portion of cheese usually contains less than 10 g of fat(*) as well as essential nutrients such as protein, calcium, several vitamins (vitamin A), minerals (phosphorous) and trace elements (zinc).
In the United States, for example, an individual serving of The Laughing Cow® contains 4 g of fat. That’s less than a knob of butter!

(*) Source ANSES, CIQUAL, 2012

Why Mini Babybel® ... is there a maxi Babybel® ?

Why Mini Babybel® ... is there a maxi Babybel® ?

Indeed, Mini Babybel®‘s big brother is known simply as Babybel®. Launched by Bel in 1952, Babybel®, like Mini-Babybel® broke the mould of its generation of cheeses by offering a cheese in a modern format, adapted to new consumer trends. Nowadays, Babybel® exists in 200 g and 380 g versions in Spain, Germany, the United Arab Emirates and many other countries.

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Can you guarantee the quality and safety of your suppliers' products ?

Can you guarantee the quality and safety of your suppliers' products ?

Bel evaluates its suppliers through audits and testing of ingredients upon delivery and at the time of use. We use raw materials of the highest quality in compliance with strict specifications. These high standards are a prerequisite for the consistent high quality of our cheeses.

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Some Bel portions are packed in aluminum foil. Isn't it dangerous to your health ?

Some Bel portions are packed in aluminum foil. Isn't it dangerous to your health ?

Bel uses aluminum packaging for some of its products as it preserves and protects from moisture, dirt, light and microorganisms.

The aluminum we use is a cheese aluminum covered with a very thin protective film. This ensures the tightness of the packaging and allows avoiding as much as possible direct contact between the aluminum and the Bel cheese.

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Are your cheeses high in
salt ?

Are your cheeses high in salt ?

Cured cheeses contain between 250 and 1300 mg of sodium per 100 g. The addition of salt is essential for various technological, hygiene and sensory (taste and smell) aspects of cheese-making.

Having a salt content in the same average of other cheeses, there is absolutely no reason why Bel products should not be part of a balanced diet.

Nevertheless, aware of the recommendations of public health and hygiene authorities, Bel is gradually reducing the sodium content of its products wherever it does not affect food safety or eating enjoyment. In The Laughing Cow®, for example, salt content has been reduced:

  • by 32% in Western Europe from 1977 to 2009,
  • by 23% for the low-fat Light version in the United States since 2005,
  • more recently, by 10% for this same product in Morocco.

Don't hesitate to send us your questions