Photoreport
The Sablé-sur-Sarthe plant was built in 1964. It produces more than 40,000 Metric tons of cheese. Some 50% of its production is exported to over 90 countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The site employs more than 600 people.

At the dairy farm, the milk collector always begins his work by inspecting the milk's composition and purity, before pumping it into the cistern of his truck. Once at the cheese plant, the milk is inspected once again. It is taken directly from the cistern to avoid any contamination risk.

”My rounds include 15 to 25 dairy farmers. I collect 45,000 to 55,000 liters of milk on each round."

Éric, milk collector

Bel's experts inspect the composition and purity of the collected milk before transferring it to the tanks. Cheese experts measure the amount of fat, protein and minerals in the milk to ensure standardization. Lactic acid bacteria are added to standardized and pasteurized milk.

”Bel is the cheese market expert in miniaturization. Our cheese-making technology is our own and is unique."

Thierry, pressed-cheese making team manager

The curd grains are molded and will then be pressed. After an average resting period of 15 hours, the Mini Babybel® cheeses will be wrapped in a wax coating designed to protect and conserve them.

The milk and cream are mixed and then pasteurized. Lactic ferments, dairy proteins, emulsifying salts, and a pinch of salt and milk calcium are added to the mix.

Kiri® is cooked then hot molded in aluminum shells.

”We produce cheese for Europe, as well as countries like Saudi Arabia, Japan and South Korea."

Guylaine, specialties workshop team manager

5,000 Kiri® portions are made every minute at Sablé-sur-Sarthe.