Amino acid and soluble nitrogen evolution throughout ripening of Serra da Estrela cheese

Freni K. Tavaria, Inmaculada Franco, F. Javier Carballo, F. Xavier Malcata*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Four batches of Serra da Estrela cheese originating from as many dairy farms were sampled throughout the ripening period, and assayed for the evolution of free amino acid (FAA) content, total nitrogen content (TN), water-soluble nitrogen content (WSN), trichloroacetic acid-soluble nitrogen content (TCASN) and phosphotungstic acid-soluble nitrogen content (PTASN). The WSN content increased from 1% (on the day of manufacture) up to 43% of TN by 180 d of ripening, thus reflecting the intense proteolytic activity of the enzymes contributed by the plant coagulant utilized. The TCASN was also found to be high in this cheese by the end of ripening (16-20%), which suggests a high extent of FAA release throughout maturation. The major FAA by 180 d of ripening were Glu, Val, Leu and Lys, representing 56-70% of the total in all four dairies sampled. Cheeses produced from refrigerated milk possessed higher amounts of γ-amino-n-butyric acid (Gaba) and lower amounts of Glu when compared with those manufactured with non-refrigerated milk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-545
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Dairy Journal
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Cheesemaking
  • Dairy foods
  • Ewe's milk
  • Free amino acids
  • Nitrogen-fractions
  • Processing
  • Proteolysis
  • Serra da Estrela cheese


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