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Article

The Quality of Five Natural, Historical Italian Cheeses Produced in Different Months: Gross Composition, Fat-Soluble Vitamins, Fatty Acids, Total Phenols, Antioxidant Capacity, and Health Index

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School of Agricultural, Forestry, Food and Environmental Sciences (SAFE), University of Basilicata, 85100 Potenza, Italy
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Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Messina, 98168 Messina, Italy
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AGRIS Agris Sardegna, Loc. Bonassai, 07040 Olmedo, Italy
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Department of Agricultural, Food and Forest Sciences (SAAF), University of Palermo, 90128 Palermo, Italy
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Department of Health Sciences, University Magna Græcia of Catanzaro, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy
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CREA Research Centre for Animal Production and Aquaculture, 85051 Bella Muro, Italy
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Department of Chemical, Biological, Pharmaceutical and Environmental Sciences, University of Messina, 98166 Messina, Italy
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Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Di3A), University of Catania, 95123 Catania, Italy
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gonzalo Hervás
Animals 2022, 12(2), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12020199
Received: 2 December 2021 / Revised: 5 January 2022 / Accepted: 12 January 2022 / Published: 14 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality of Products from Ruminants in Extensive Production Systems)
For the purposes of raising awareness of five historical cheeses of Southern Italy that are less known by consumers, and of restoring dignity to the breeders and producers of these cheeses, we studied their quality in terms of chemical composition, monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA), polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), PUFA-ω6, PUFA-ω3, α-tocopherol, retinol, cholesterol, polyphenol content (TPC), total antioxidant capacity (FRAP and TEAC), and health index (GHIC). Two stretched-curd bovine cheeses, Caciocavallo Palermitano (CP) and Casizolu del Montiferru (CdM), two ovine cheeses, Vastedda della Valle del Belìce (VVB) and Pecorino Siciliano (PS), and one caprine cheese, Caprino Nicastrese (CN), were evaluated. These cheeses are produced in different months, with raw milk from animals reared in an extensive feeding system. In April, the CP cheese showed high values for CLA, TPC, and GHIC, while the CN cheese exhibited high PUFA, PUFA-ω6, PUFA-ω3, TEAC, and GHIC. In May, the CdM cheese exhibited high content of fat, saturated fatty acids, PUFA-ω3, α-tocopherol, TEAC, and GHIC, while the PS cheese showed high values of protein, CLA, PUFA, PUFA-ω3, α-tocopherol, and GHIC. These measured parameters characterize and distinguish each cheese due to links with numerous factors: species, breed, feeding system, pasture biodiversity, climate, production technology, traditional tools, and ripening type. It is highlighted that, in general, the highest nutritional quality, linked to the highest presence of healthy compounds, originates from the pasture of cheese production in the spring.
Five natural historic cheeses of Southern Italy were investigated—Caciocavallo Palermitano (CP), Casizolu del Montiferru (CdM), Vastedda della Valle del Belìce (VVB), Pecorino Siciliano (PS), and Caprino Nicastrese (CN)—which are produced with raw milk and with traditional techniques and tools, from autochthonous breeds reared under an extensive system. The effects of the month of production on gross composition, MUFA, PUFA, PUFA-ω6, PUFA-ω3, α-tocopherol, retinol, cholesterol, TPC, TEAC, and GHIC were evaluated. In CP, CLA, TPC, and GHIC were higher in April than in February. CdM showed higher values in terms of fat, saturated fatty acids, PUFA-ω3, α-tocopherol, TEAC, and GHIC in May than in February and September, while low values in terms of protein, moisture, and CLA were found. In VVB, MUFA, PUFA-ω6, and α-tocopherol increased in June compared with April; conversely, protein, FRAP, and TEAC were higher in April. In PS, protein, CLA, PUFA, PUFA-ω3, α-tocopherol, and GHIC increased in May compared with January; on the contrary, moisture, NaCl, and TEAC showed high values in January. CN showed higher values in terms of PUFA, PUFA-ω6, PUFA-ω3, TPC, TEAC, and GHIC in April and June compared with January. It is shown that each cheese is unique and closely linked to the production area. Cheeses produced in the spring months showed a high nutritional quality due to the greatest presence of healthy compounds originating from an extensive feeding system. View Full-Text
Keywords: natural historical cheeses; extensive system; cheese quality; chemical composition; fat-soluble vitamins; fatty acids; total phenols; antioxidant capacity; health index natural historical cheeses; extensive system; cheese quality; chemical composition; fat-soluble vitamins; fatty acids; total phenols; antioxidant capacity; health index
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MDPI and ACS Style

Di Trana, A.; Di Rosa, A.R.; Addis, M.; Fiori, M.; Di Grigoli, A.; Morittu, V.M.; Spina, A.A.; Claps, S.; Chiofalo, V.; Licitra, G.; Todaro, M. The Quality of Five Natural, Historical Italian Cheeses Produced in Different Months: Gross Composition, Fat-Soluble Vitamins, Fatty Acids, Total Phenols, Antioxidant Capacity, and Health Index. Animals 2022, 12, 199. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12020199

AMA Style

Di Trana A, Di Rosa AR, Addis M, Fiori M, Di Grigoli A, Morittu VM, Spina AA, Claps S, Chiofalo V, Licitra G, Todaro M. The Quality of Five Natural, Historical Italian Cheeses Produced in Different Months: Gross Composition, Fat-Soluble Vitamins, Fatty Acids, Total Phenols, Antioxidant Capacity, and Health Index. Animals. 2022; 12(2):199. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12020199

Chicago/Turabian Style

Di Trana, Adriana, Ambra R. Di Rosa, Margherita Addis, Myriam Fiori, Antonino Di Grigoli, Valeria M. Morittu, Anna A. Spina, Salvatore Claps, Vincenzo Chiofalo, Giuseppe Licitra, and Massimo Todaro. 2022. "The Quality of Five Natural, Historical Italian Cheeses Produced in Different Months: Gross Composition, Fat-Soluble Vitamins, Fatty Acids, Total Phenols, Antioxidant Capacity, and Health Index" Animals 12, no. 2: 199. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12020199

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