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Sensory assessment of hard cheeses

The project covers the following areas: assesses strengths/weaknesses of the different sensory methodologies for the characterization of cheese; determines similarities between sensory vocabularies; devises a compromise strategy for the sensory assessment of hard cheeses across international frontiers. Composition by itself is a poor index of 'type' where the character of food develops as a result of post-production enzymic and chemical transformations. Foods such as cheese and wine fall into this category. Seven sensory experts from seven countries are taking part in the study. A review of the literature indicated only a small amount of readily-available information on international trade in cheese. There are also very few international sensory studies in which the same samples have been profiled in laboratories in different countries. Twenty descriptors were agreed for use by all seven laboratories as a recommended vocabulary for the second ring trial. This led to improved terms and the definition of reference standards. Despite much progress, further work is required on standardizing a sensory protocol for hard cheese, and also for identifying and testing standards. Sensory aspects of hard cheese of importance to consumers need to be identified as does a low cost instrumental test for predicting the sensory differences between cheeses.

Reported by

The University of Edinburgh
EH93 JZ Edinburgh
United Kingdom
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