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The Flavor of Dairy Products from Grass-Fed Cows

Michele Faccia
2020 Foods  
The milks used for manufacturing bovine dairy products are not all equal. The feeding regimen of lactating cows can widely vary, giving rise to remarkable compositional differences. Recently, grass-fed/based milk and transformed products are being taken into great consideration due to their more favorable nutritional characteristics and better sustainability over those from intensive systems. Besides these well-established aspects, the existence of differences in flavor is highly debated. The
more » ... ghly debated. The "cheese story tellers" consider it as a proven fact and tend to directly link the aroma of grass-based dairy products to the plants the animals ate. Unfortunately, this claim is not yet supported by scientific data. Actually, there is sufficient evidence of the presence of a distinctive aroma in milk from grass-fed cows, but the connection with specific aroma-active compounds is still in progress. In addition to this, the role of some compounds deriving from cow's metabolism seems to be much more important than that of other compounds that directly derive from feed. The situation in transformed products, in particular cheese, is even more complicated due to the overlapping of flavor compounds originating from technological operations, microbial metabolism and enzyme activities during storage or ripening. Further work is still needed to answer the question, but the increasing application of a flavoromics approach to the studies should rapidly bring about a decisive contribution to the knowledge.
doi:10.3390/foods9091188 pmid:32867231 fatcat:2uudxg4atjdq7c2jdj3ardl2uu