Date of Award:

6-2011

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Advisor/Chair:

Dr. Robert E. Ward

Abstract

This study was conducted to compare and contrast potential aroma compounds in the headspace and small molecule metabolites produced as a result of starter culture metabolism in a full-fat and low-fat cheddar cheese model system. Past studies have indicated differences in the headspace flavor compound profiles between full-fat and low-fat Cheddar cheeses with no indication as to what compounds were produced as a result of starter culture metabolism.

Starter cultures were incubated in a Cheddar cheese extract environment that was made up of the water-soluble portion of Cheddar cheese with environmental conditions mimicking full-fat and low-fat Cheddar cheese by altering the levels of salt and milk fat globular membrane in the system. Incubation times were up to 14 days at 30°C and samples were taken at days 0, 1, 7, and 14. Headspace analysis was accomplished using solid phase micro-extraction coupled with GC-MS and small metabolites were monitored using metabolomic methods coupled with GC-MS.

Results indicate that the starter culture was responsible for an increase in the concentration of propan-2-one, heptan-2-one, 3-methylbutanal, heptanal, benzaldehyde, 2-ethylhexanal, and dimethyl trisulfide in both the full-fat and low-fat medias when compared to their respective controls. While heptanal was present at a higher concentration in the full-fat treatments compared to the low-fat treatments and 2- ethylhexan-1-ol and isothiocyanato cyclohexane were present at higher concentrations in the low-fat treatments compared to the full-fat treatments.

Principal component analysis for the headspace compounds showed a clear separation of the treatments with heptanal, p-cymene, nonan-2-one, and undecan-2-one contributing the most to the variation between the full-fat and low-fat samples, while 3- methylbutanal, heptan-2-one, benzaldehyde, 2-ethylhexan-1-ol, 2,6-dimethylheptan-4-ol, and 3-methylbutanol contributed the most to the variation between the controls and treatments.

The metabolomics data for both the bacteria and Cheddar cheese extract did not provide a clear separation between the full-fat and low-fat samples.

Comments

This work made publicly available electronically on September 2, 2011.

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