The history of rennet

Josef Hundsbichler, company founder
Josef Hundsbichler,
company founder

History tells us that the ancient Egyptians were the first to discover rennet 4000 to 5000 thousand years ago. They used the dried intestines of animals, particularly stomachs, as containers for storing liquids. The rennet enzyme released by these stomachs caused milk to curdle thus making it possible to preserve it. The art of cheese-making has developed over the centuries, and natural rennet has always been inseparably linked to cheese.


The company history

The company founder, Kommerzialrat Josef Hundsbichler (1913-1995), came from an old farming and cheese-making family based in Zillertal. In 1947, he started utilizing the modest means available to him in Kufstein to produce marketable rennet from dried calves' stomachs.

Rennet production in Europe at the time was dominated by a few major operators and Josef Hundsbichler immediately saw his business exposed to great competitive pressures. However, he persevered and gradually established his natural rennet on the market, initially in Austria, and then later in neighbouring countries.

Today, the Hundsbichler company supplies more than 80% of the natural rennet used in Austria. Its products are exported to Switzerland, Italy, France, Germany, Greece, Cyprus, Syria, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and many other countries. Wherever top-quality cheeses are required, first-class natural rennet by Hundsbichler may be in demand.


4500 BC
natural rennet first used in Egypt
1947 Rennet production commenced at Hundsbichler
1960 Construction of a new plant in Kufstein
1976 The right to use the Austrian coat of arms was granted
1987 The right to use the State of Tyrol's coat of arms was granted
1995 Management assumed by the founder's son, Stefan Hundsbichler
1995 Certification in accordance with ISO 9000
1998 Development of the new "gentle" extraction procedure
1999 Construction of today's plant in Langkampfen near Kufstein
2000 Relocation to the new buildings and implementation of the new production procedures
2004 New international BioRen® brand launched
2005 Certification in accordance with ISO 22000
Liquid rennet paste "for more taste in cheese" launchedon the market
2008 Halal certification through HFFIA Den Haag
2009 positive ending of the R&D project together with TU Dresden - "rennet and yield"
2009 positive ending of an R&D project - development of new extraction technology