alexa Analytical methods for the determination of the geographic origin of Emmentaler cheese. Main framework of the project; chemical, biochemical, microbiological, colour and sensory analyses


Journal of Food & Industrial Microbiology

Author(s): L Pillonel, J Bosset, R Tabacchi, J Meyer, P Lavanchy, M Dalla Torre, M Casey, U Btikofer, R Badertscher

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Emmentaler is a hard cheese produced and consumed in many countries. The authenticity of this cheese variety is becoming a matter of national importance with the imminent opening of the cheese market in Switzerland and the introduction of the PDO label for the Emmentaler Switzerland™. This paper is the first in a series reporting the search for parameters that make possible a geographic discrimination of Emmentalers. Twenty Emmentaler cheese samples from six regions in Europe (one from Switzerland, two from France, one from Austria, one from Germany and one from Finland) were considered. In this paper, chemical, biochemical, microbiological, colour and sensory parameters were investigated leading to the following preliminary results. The presence of Lb. helveticus seemed to be a good indicator of an origin other than Swiss. The concentration of enterococci, facultative and obligate heterofermentative lactobacilli and salt tolerant bacteria was significantly lower in Emmentaler Switzerland™ than in the foreign cheeses. Chemical parameters such as fat content and pH value as well as biochemical parameters such as L- and D-lactate and pyruvate allowed us to partially discriminate between the regions when these data were combined by principal component analysis. The colour of the body also showed significant differences.

This article was published in European Food Research and Technology and referenced in Journal of Food & Industrial Microbiology

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