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Flavour and texture of cheeses according to grazing type : the Abundance cheese

INRA Prod. Anim., 15(1), 31-36.


1 INRA SRTAL, BP 89, 39801 Poligny Cedex

2 INRA URH, Theix, 63122 Saint-Genès Champanelle
3 GIS Alpes du Nord, SUACI, 11 rue Métropole, 73000 Chambéry


The influence of the pasture type on the milk characteristicsand cheeses was studied in the PDO(Protective Designation of Origin) zone of Abundanceon 10 pastures managed by three milk farmers whomake their own cheeses. The experiment started beforegrazing with the same hay diet being given to all threeherds in order to estimate the herd variations. The characteristicsof the ingested fodder were measured, aswell as those of the corresponding milks and cheesesfor three consecutive days. The sensorial characteristicsof the cheeses, and in particular their texture,varied markedly according to the nature of the foddereaten. Cheese texture was related to plasmin activity,to the amounts of long polyunsaturated fatty acids,which were higher in the milk from the cows who grazedat high altitudes (>1500 m) and to the rate of acidificationduring cheese pressing, which was slowerwith milks from certain pastures. Differences in cheeseflavour were observed for milks from different pastures;this was in relation to the secondary proteolysisand the composition of the volatile components of thesecheeses. A direct transfer of hay terpenes to milk andthen cheeses was shown, with a probably indirect roleon cheese flavour via a modification of the metabolicactivity of the micro-organisms during cheese ripening.The bitterness of some cheeses was associated with adelay in acidification during cheese pressing. The relationshipsbetween the nature of the pasture and cheesecharacteristics were essentially indirect.

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