Know more

Our use of cookies

Cookies are a set of data stored on a user’s device when the user browses a web site. The data is in a file containing an ID number, the name of the server which deposited it and, in some cases, an expiry date. We use cookies to record information about your visit, language of preference, and other parameters on the site in order to optimise your next visit and make the site even more useful to you.

To improve your experience, we use cookies to store certain browsing information and provide secure navigation, and to collect statistics with a view to improve the site’s features. For a complete list of the cookies we use, download “Ghostery”, a free plug-in for browsers which can detect, and, in some cases, block cookies.

Ghostery is available here for free:

You can also visit the CNIL web site for instructions on how to configure your browser to manage cookie storage on your device.

In the case of third-party advertising cookies, you can also visit the following site:, offered by digital advertising professionals within the European Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA). From the site, you can deny or accept the cookies used by advertising professionals who are members.

It is also possible to block certain third-party cookies directly via publishers:

Cookie type

Means of blocking

Analytical and performance cookies

Google Analytics

Targeted advertising cookies


The following types of cookies may be used on our websites:

Mandatory cookies

Functional cookies

Social media and advertising cookies

These cookies are needed to ensure the proper functioning of the site and cannot be disabled. They help ensure a secure connection and the basic availability of our website.

These cookies allow us to analyse site use in order to measure and optimise performance. They allow us to store your sign-in information and display the different components of our website in a more coherent way.

These cookies are used by advertising agencies such as Google and by social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Among other things, they allow pages to be shared on social media, the posting of comments, and the publication (on our site or elsewhere) of ads that reflect your centres of interest.

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) uses CAS and PHP session cookies and the New Relic cookie for monitoring purposes (IP, response times).

These cookies are deleted at the end of the browsing session (when you log off or close your browser window)

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) uses the XiTi cookie to measure traffic. Our service provider is AT Internet. This company stores data (IPs, date and time of access, length of the visit and pages viewed) for six months.

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) does not use this type of cookie.

For more information about the cookies we use, contact INRA’s Data Protection Officer by email at or by post at:

24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

Menu Logo Principal

Home page

Sensory properties of meat and dairy products are affected by the forages consumed by the animals

INRA Prod. Anim., 15(5), 333-342.


1 INRA, Unité de Recherches sur les Herbivores, Theix, 63122 St-Genès-Champanelle

2 Università di Catania, DACPA –Sezione delle Produzioni Animali – Via Valdisavoia 5, 95123 Catania , Italie


The nature of forages ingested by ruminants is one of the factors of variation of sensory properties of dairy products and meats. Recently, the effect of this factor was underlined, particularly for the PDO products. For these products, animal feeding is one of the elements that link the product to the ’terroir’.

Grass conservation as silage does not seem to affect cheese sensory properties when the silage is done properly, except for the colour which tends to be more yellow when the animals are fed silage. Contrarily when the animals graze grass, the cheeses have a more intense colour, flavour and odour, compared to winter rations based on hay and silage. The botanical composition of grass has an effect on cheese sensory properties. The most important differences regard texture, mainly in cooked type cheeses when cows graze in pastures with a great biodiversity.

These sensory differences can be due to milk constituents coming directly from animal food. This is the case of carotenoids, responsible for the yellow colour of dairy products, and abundant in green forages. The differences can also be due to milk constituents that the animal produces which are different with different feeds. This is the case of the plasmin content of milk or fat composition that can affect cheese texture.

Meat from animals grazing grass is darker and tougher than meat from animals given concentrates. This effect can be partially linked to the ultimate pH (for the colour), to the age at slaughter (generally higher for animals grazing grass), to the carcass fatness and to the intramuscular fat content (higher for animals given concentrates). Grass feeding also affects meat flavour. This effect is probably linked to an increase of skatole and its interaction with branched chain fatty acids. Also animals grazing grass have a higher proportion of linolenic acid in their fat. Some products of oxidation of linolenic acid are responsible for the pastoral flavour of meat.

Download documents