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A comparative study of fatty acid composition and CLA concentration in commercial cheeses

Prandini, Aldo, Sigolo, Samantha, Piva, Gianfranco
Subtropical plant science 2011 v.24 no.1 pp. 55-61
cheesemaking, cheeses, conjugated linoleic acid, fatty acid composition, lipid content, lipolysis, manufacturing, milk, oleic acid, production technology, ruminants
A total of 52 Italian and French commercial cheeses were analysed for fatty acid composition and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) concentration. The cheeses were first grouped according to the ruminant species of the milk used in manufacturing, then according to the following criteria: (1) cheeses obtained from milk of the same ruminant species but using different production technologies; (2) cheeses produced from milk of different ruminant species but through similar cheesemaking processes. Comparative studies of fatty acid composition and CLA levels in the different cheese classes were carried out. In our study, the arrangement of the ruminant species according to the increasing CLA concentration in cheese was: goat=cow<sheep. Sheep cheeses had the highest levels of CLA (9.86mg/g fat), α-linolenic acid (0.75%) and trans-vaccenic acid (1.63%), and the lowest contents of linoleic acid (1.80%) and oleic acid (16.83%). The comparison of cheeses obtained from milk of the same ruminant species but through different production technologies reported statistically significant differences in the fatty acid profiles that could be due to a different degree of lipolysis in the cheeses compared. Nevertheless, statistically significant differences in CLA concentration were not found; this suggests that the factors involved in the cheesemaking process generally do not affect the CLA content in milk fat.