Current state of Portuguese dairy products from ovine and caprine milks

Patrícia J. M. Reis, F. Xavier Malcata*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Most Portuguese cheeses possessing a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status are still manufactured following traditional methods - the majority of which use raw milk from small ruminants (mainly sheep), coagulated with a rennet from plant origin (wild thistle flowers) and without deliberate addition of any starter/nonstarter culture; the most famous and representative of these cheeses is Serra da Estrela. Most steps required for its manufacture are performed manually (or otherwise empirically), and are controlled by the cheesemaker herself based on own intuition and past experience - thus leading to a wide variability among dairy farms, and even from day to day cheese batches. This paper reviews and updates fundamental and applied knowledge encompassing technological, microbiological, chemical, organoleptic and textural features of traditional PDO cheeses, manufactured in Portugal from ovine and caprine (or both) milks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-133
Number of pages12
JournalSmall Ruminant Research
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


  • Adventitious microflora
  • Artisanal cheeses
  • Dairy foods
  • Plant rennet


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