Fortification of Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese with n-3 Fatty Acids: Effect on Off-Flavor Generation

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Journal of Dairy Science






American Dairy Science Association; Elsevier

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The objective of this study was to fortify 50% reduced fat Cheddar cheese with n-3 fatty acids and evaluate whether this fortification generated specific off-flavors in the cheese. Docosahexaenoic (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic (EPA) fatty acids were added to the cheese to obtain 3 final fortification levels [18, 35, and 71mg of DHA/EPA per serving size (28g) of cheese] representing 10, 20, and 40% of the suggested daily intake level for DHA/EPA. The presence of oxidized, rancid, and fishy flavors as a function of fortification level and cheese aging (6 mo) was evaluated using a sensory descriptive panel. No differences were found in the oxidized and rancid flavors as a consequence of DHA/EPA fortification, with only slight intensities of these flavors. The presence of fishy off-flavor was dependent on the fortification level. Cheeses with low fortification levels (18 and 35mg of DHA/EPA per serving size) did not develop significant fishy off-flavor compared with the control, whereas at the highest fortification level (71mg of DHA/EPA per serving size) the fishy off-flavor was significantly stronger in young cheeses. The fishy flavor decreased as a function of age and became nonsignificant compared with the control at 3 mo of storage. Even though fishy flavors were detected in the fortified cheeses, the DHA/EPA content during storage remained constant and complied with the suggested values for food fortification. Results obtained from this research indicate that 50% reduced-fat Cheddar cheese aged for 3 mo can be used as a vehicle for delivery of n-3 fatty acids without generation of off-flavors.


* indicates graduate students; # indicates undergraduate students mentored

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