• Brie is a soft surface ripened, primarily white mould ripened cheese in conformity with the General Standard for Cheese (CXS 283-1978), which has a shape of a flat cylinder or sectors thereof. The body has a near white through to light yellow colour and a soft-textured (when thumbs-pressed), but not crumbly texture, ripened from the surface to the center of the cheese. Gas holes are generally absent, but few openings and splits are acceptable. A rind is to be developed that is soft and entirely covered with white mould but may have red, brownish or orange coloured spots. Whole cheese may be cut or formed into sectors prior to or after the mould development.
  • For Brie ready for consumption, the ripening procedure to develop flavour and body characteristics is normally from 10 days at 10–16°C depending on the extent of maturity required. Alternative ripening conditions (including the addition of ripening enhancing enzymes) may be used, provided the cheese exhibits similar physical, biochemical and sensory properties as those achieved by the previously stated ripening procedure. Brie intended for further processing need not exhibit the same extent of ripening when justified through technical and/or trade needs.


  • Raw materials Cows’ milk or buffaloes’ milk, or their mixtures, and products obtained from these milks.
  • Permitted ingredients
    • Starter cultures of harmless lactic acid and/ or flavour producing bacteria and cultures of other harmless micro-organisms, including Geotrichum candidum, Brevibacterium linens, and yeast;
    • Rennet or other safe and suitable coagulating enzymes;
    • Sodium chloride and potassium chloride as a salt substitute;
    • Potable water
    • Safe and suitable enzymes to enhance the ripening process;
    • Safe and suitable processing aids;
    • Rice, corn and potato flours and starches: Notwithstanding the provisions in the General Standard for Cheese (CXS 283-1978), these substances can be used in the same function as anti-caking agents for treatment of the surface of cut, sliced, and shredded products only, provided they are added only in amounts functionally necessary as governed by Good Manufacturing Practice, taking into account any use of the anti-caking agents listed in Section 4.
  • Composition
    • Milk constituent:

      Minimum content (m/m)

      Maximum content


      Reference level


      Milkfat in dry matter:


      Not restricted

      45% to 55%

      Dry matter:

      Depending on the fat in dry matter content, according to the table below.


      Fat in dry matter content (m/m):

      Corresponding minimum dry matter content (m/m):


      Equal to or above 40% but less than 45%:



      Equal to or above 45% but less than 55%:



      Equal to or above 55% but less than 60%:



      Equal to or above 60%:


  • Essential sizes and shapes
    • Maximum height: Approx. 5 cm;
    • Weight: Whole cheese of flat cylinder: approx. 500 g to 3 500 g
  • Essential ripening procedure
    • Rind formation and maturation (proteolysis) from the surface to the centre is predominantly caused by Penicillium candidium and/or Penicillium camembertii and Penicillium caseicolum.


  • Only those additives classes indicated as justified in the table below may be used for the product categories specified. Colours used in accordance with Tables 1 and 2 of the General Standard for Food Additives (CXS 192-1995) in food category (Ripened cheese, includes rind) and only certain acidity regulators in Table 3 are acceptable for use in foods conforming to this standard.
  • Additive functional class:

    Justified use

    Cheese mass

    Surface/rind treatment



    Bleaching agents:


    Acidity regulators:







    Foaming agents:

    Anti–caking agents:

  • X The use of additives belonging to the class is technologically justified.
  • – The use of additives belonging to the class is not technologically justified.


  • The products covered by this Standard shall comply with the maximum levels for contaminants that are specified for the product in the General Standard for Contaminants and Toxins in Food and Feed (CXS 1931995
  • The milk used in the manufacture of the products covered by this Standard shall comply with the maximum levels for contaminants and toxins specified for milk by the General Standard for Contaminants and Toxins in Food and Feed (CXS 193-1995) and with the maximum residue limits for veterinary drug residues and pesticides established for milk by the CAC.


  • It is recommended that the product covered by the provisions of this Standard be prepared and handled in accordance with the appropriate sections of the General Principles of Food Hygiene (CXC 1-1969), the Code of Hygienic Practice for Milk and Milk Products (CXC 57-2004) and other relevant Codex texts such as Codes of Hygienic Practice and Codes of Practice The products should comply with any microbiological criteria established in accordance with the Principles for the Establishment and Application of Microbiological Criteria Related to Foods (CXG 21-1997).


  • In addition to the provisions of the General Standard for the Labelling of Prepackaged Foods (CXS 1-1985) and the General Standard for the Use of Dairy Terms (CXS 206-1999), the following specific provisions apply:
  • Name of the food
    • The use of the name is an option that may be chosen only if the cheese complies with this Standard. Where the name is not used for a cheese that complies with this Standard, the naming provisions of the General Standard for Cheese (CXS 283-1978) apply.
    • The designation may also be used for cut, sliced, shredded or grated products made from cheese which cheese is in conformity with this Standard.
  • Country of origin
    • The country of origin (which means the country of manufacture, not the country in which the name originated) shall be declared. When the product undergoes substantial transformation 2in a second country, the country in which the transformation is performed shall be considered to be the country of origin for the purpose of labelling.
  • Declaration of milkfat content
    • The milk fat content shall be declared in a manner found acceptable in the country of retail sale, either (i) as a percentage by mass, (ii) as a percentage of fat in dry matter, or (iii) in grams per serving as quantified in the label, provided that the number of servings is stated.


  • For checking the compliance with this Standard, the methods of analysis and sampling contained in the Recommended Methods of Analysis and Sampling (CXS 234-1999) relevant to the provisions in this Standard, shall be used.