Effect of farming system and cheesemaking technology on the physicochemical characteristics, fatty acid profile, and sensory properties of Caciocavallo Palermitano cheese

Antonino Di Grigoli, Gabriele Tornambè, Claudio De Pasquale, Adriana Bonanno, Francesca Mazza, Giuseppe Maniaci, Vincenzo Bellina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Caciocavallo Palermitano is a typical stretched-curdcheese that has been produced over the centuries inSicily according to traditional cheesemaking technologyand using raw milk from autochthonous cow breedsreared at pasture. The objective of this experiment wasto evaluate the effects of the farming system and processingtechnology on the characteristics of CaciocavalloPalermitano cheese, with particular regard to the fattyacid profile. The farming system was either extensive,using autochthonous cows fed a pasture-based diet, orintensive, with specialized dairy cow breeds fed mainlyhay and concentrate. The cheese-processing technologywas either artisanal, using traditional woodentools and endemic lactic bacteria, or advanced, usingmodern steel equipment and selected lactic bacteria.Twelve Caciocavallo Palermitano cheeses, 3 from eachof the 4 experimental theses (2 farming systems × 2cheesemaking technologies), were obtained and aged for1, 30, 60, and 120 d. Milk of origin and cheeses wereanalyzed for the main chemical and rheological parameters.Fatty acids were methylated in lyophilized cheeseand analyzed by gas chromatography. Sensory analysiswas carried out by trained panelists. The PROC GLMof SAS 9.1.2 (SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NY) was usedfor the statistical analysis. The physical, chemical, andsensory characteristics of Caciocavallo Palermitanocheese were influenced more by the farming systemthan by the cheesemaking technology. Compared withcheese produced through intensive farming, cheese fromextensive farming was richer in polyunsaturated, n-3,and odd- and branched-chain fatty acids, as well asin conjugated linoleic acid (cis-9,trans-11 C18:2), withaccompanying improved human health benefits. Thecheesemaking technology produced variation in theevolution of proteolysis during aging, due presumablyto the different active microflora, which influenced the sensory profile of the resulting cheese. Indeed, cheeseproduced by artisanal manufacturing was described asless “bitter” and more “piquant” than cheese producedthrough the advanced process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)710-724
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Volume96
Publication statusPublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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