Comparing quality characteristics of “Caciocavallo Palermitano” cheese from traditional and intensive production systems

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Abstract

The “Caciocavallo Palermitano” is a typical stretched curd (pasta filata) cheese, made mainly in the Palermo area, in the Western Sicily, from cow milk. The aim of this investigation was to verify the influence of the on-farm production system (traditional vs. intensive) on some qualitative characteristics of “Caciocavallo Palermitano” cheese, with particular regard to fatty acid (FA) profile. On June 2008, 1-month aged cheeses were sampled from 6 traditional farms (TRD) and 5 intensive farms (INT). In TRD farms, local cow breeds (Cinisara, Modicana or Siciliana) were fed pasture-based diet and cheeses were manufactured using artisanal wood tools by following the traditional technique. The INT farms were characterized for rearing Brown or Holstein cows, fed mostly hay and concentrate, and for implementing a more advanced and rapid cheese-making process with the modern steel tools. Chemical and physical cheese characteristics showed high variability within each farming system, and did not significantly differ between TRD and INT farms. Cheeses from TRD farms, compared to INT cheeses, have a higher amount of unsaturated FA (P<0.01), due to C18:1, C18:3n3, and especially to C18:2c9t11 (CLA, 1.14 vs. 0.66 g/100 g FA; P<0.05). Moreover, TRD cheeses were characterized by a higher content in odd and branched chain FA (P<0.05). The results of this study highlight an influence of farming system on FA composition of “Caciocavallo Palermitano” cheese
Original languageEnglish
Pages153-156
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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