We proposed an application methodology that combines metabolic profiling with multiple appropriate multivariate analyses and verified it on the industrial scale of the ripening process of Cheddar cheese to make practical use of hydrophilic low-molecular-weight compound profiling using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to design optimal conditions and quality monitoring of the cheese ripening process. Principal components analysis provided an overview of the effect of sodium chloride content and kind of lactic acid bacteria starter on the metabolic profile in the ripening process of Cheddar cheese and orthogonal partial least squares-discriminant analysis unveiled the difference in characteristic metabolites. When the sodium chloride contents were different (1.6 and 0.2%) but the same lactic acid bacteria starter was used, the 2 cheeses were classified by orthogonal partial least squares-discriminant analysis from their metabolic profiles, but were not given perfect discrimination. Not much difference existed in the metabolic profile between the 2 cheeses. Compounds including lactose, galactose, lactic acid, 4-aminobutyric acid, and phosphate were identified as contents that differed between the 2 cheeses. On the other hand, in the case of the same salt content of 1.6%, but different kinds of lactic acid bacteria starter, an excellent distinctive discrimination model was obtained, which showed that the difference of lactic acid bacteria starter caused an obvious difference in metabolic profiles. Compounds including lactic acid, lactose, urea, 4-aminobutyric acid, galactose, phosphate, proline, isoleucine, glycine, alanine, lysine, leucine, valine, and pyroglutamic acid were identified as contents that differed between the 2 cheeses. Then, a good sensory prediction model for "rich flavor," which was defined as "thick and rich, including umami taste and soy sauce-like flavor," was constructed based on the metabolic profile during ripening using partial least squares regression analysis. The amino acids proline, leucine, valine, isoleucine, pyroglutamic acid, alanine, glutamic acid, glycine, lysine, tyrosine, serine, phenylalanine, methionine, aspartic acid, and ornithine were extracted as ripening process markers. The present study is not limited to Cheddar cheese and can be applied to various maturation-type natural cheeses. This study provides the technical platform for designing optimal conditions and quality monitoring of the cheese ripening process.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology