Free fatty acid profile and sensory characteristics of Regianito cheese produced with different starters
Keywords:Lipolysis, Reggianito cheese, Selected starters, Sensory analysis
Reggianito is the most important variety among the Argentinean hard cheeses. During its ripening period several biochemical reactions of proteins and fat are responsible for its final sensory characteristics. The fat transformations, in a first step, produce free fatty acids (FFA). In the present work, the FFA profile from C6:0 to C18:2 during ripening was evaluated. Reggianito cheeses were produced with a “wild” whey starter and with selected strains of Lactobacillus helveticus isolated from natural whey. Information from FFA profiles was processed by Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Discriminant Analysis (DA). Despite the fact that FFA levels grew continuously during ripening, no differences were found among cheeses produced with different starters. Sensory analyses did not show differences among the different cheeses produced. All cheeses were of satisfactory sensory quality. Results from this study are important for an increased knowledge of the ripening process of Reggianito cheese, considering the scarce information currently existing on this subject. At the same time, the substitution of a natural whey starter for a selected strain starter appears to be a possible advantage in order to improve and to standardize the quality of the cheese.
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