A comparative study of the fatty acid profiles in commercial sheep cheeses
Keywords:Cheese, Fatty acids, Milk, Sheep
The present study was carried out to characterize the FA profile of sheep cheese marketed in Chile. Fifty-eight cheeses were collected from supermarkets of 5 different Chilean cities including 34 sheep cheeses, 7 from goat’s milk, 11 from cow’s milk, 4 from a mixture of sheep, goat and cow’s milk and 2 from a mixture of sheep and cow’s milk. Compared to the cow and goat cheese (3.4 and 2.5 g·100g−1), the sheep cheese (3.8 g·100g−1) contained higher contents of C18:1t. The saturated and polyunsatured FA contents were greater in goat cheese than in sheep and cow cheese. The n6/n3 ratio was greater in goat (6.1) cheese than in sheep and cow cheese (3.8 and 5.2). The atherogenicity index was unaffected by cheese type, however, the thrombogenic index was lower in sheep cheese (2.8) than in goat and cow cheese (3.1 and 2.9). The n6/n3 ratio and thrombogenic index were lower in Chilean sheep cheese than in those imported from Europe. The fatty acid profile of cheese can be used to differentiate animal species from which the cheese is made and to some extent the geographical origin that may give some insight as to animal feed and production management.
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