Goat Breeds and Caciotta Cheese

In this paragraph, we report an example that can be considered a case study. The study was carried out at the CRA-ZOE experimental farm of Bella-Muro (40o380N; 15o490E), located at 360 m a.s.l in the Basilicata region (Southern Italy), during spring. The maximum and minimum environmental temperatures and relative humidity were 13 oC, 5 oC and 70 % in spring, 24 oC, 14 oC and 64 % in summer, 16 oC, 8 oC and 71 % in autumn and 7 oC, 1.3 oC and 77 % in winter. Average annual rainfall was 752 mm, mainly distributed in autumn. Temperature humidity index was 57, 72, 62 and 50 in spring, summer, autumn and winter, respectively. In autumn–winter, the contribution of botanical families in the native pasture was 92 % Graminaceae, 1 % Leguminosae, 7 % Forbs and the main species present were Lolium perenne (60 %), Dactylis glomerata (25 %), Phleum pratense (5 %). In spring-early summer, the botanical composition was 28 % Graminaceae, 3 % Leguminosae, 68 % Forbs and the main species were Cichorium intybus (15 %), Asperula odorosa (12 %), Phleum pratense (10 %), Crepis sp. (9 %), Galium verum (9 %), Convolvulus arvensis (8 %), Lolium perenne (8 %) and Daucus carota (7 %).

A flock set-up of four goat breeds, Girgentana (G), Jonica (I), Maltese (M) and Red Syrian (R) breeds (Table 3), were used. Girgentana breed, native of Sicily, and Jonica, native of Apulian and Basilicata regions, were compared with two non-native breeds: Maltese and Red Syrian.

Mature goats from each breed were selected on the basis of homogeneous days in milk (110 ± 10) and body condition score (2.60 ± 0.25). All goats grazed on native pasture and they received hay ad libitum plus a small amount of mixed grain in two equal meals at morning and evening milking.

This diet reflects the common feeding regimen of grazing goats in Mediterranean environments according to the herbage allowance at pasture.

Caciotta Cheesemaking, Sampling and Analysis of Milk and Cheese

Three cheesemakings of Caciotta cheese for each goat breed were carried out for three consecutive days in CRA-ZOE experimental dairy.

Table 3 Goat breeds

L.G. genealogical book; R.A anagraphic logbook

aRegistered heads, June 2014, ASSONAPA

bIn order of population size

cMultiparous doe

dItaly: Milk recording activity, official statistics, AIA (2013)

eTodaro et al. (2005) fNoe` et al. (2005) gPizzillo et al. (2005)

Goat Caciotta Cheese

Caciotta cheese (from the left): Pure, thyme-spiced and wine-ripened cheese

Whole goat milk cheese. It weighs 500–600 g, and it is ripened for 20–30 days; the shape is cylindrical, 15 cm in diameter and 11 cm high; the rind is ivory coloured, the texture is compact, the paste is semi-soft, with rare eyes or eyeless, and white-ivory coloured. The odour is pleasantly acidic-fermented, the taste is sweet, typical and slightly goaty. This cheese can be flavoured with various ingredients. For example, with thyme (Thyme-spiced Goat Caciotta cheese): the rind is barely formed and covered by thyme leaves, which give the typical aroma to the cheese. Moreover, with wine: in this case (Wine-ripened Goat Caciotta cheese[1]), the rind is dark-red coloured because of the ripening in Aglianico del Vulture grape vinasse, which gives the typical red plonk colour and aroma to the cheese. When correctly ripened, the flavoured rinds are edible and enrich the taste and nutritional value of the cheeses with the aromas, the antioxidant compounds and vitamins contained into the leaves and vinasse.

The flowchart of cheese-making process is shown in Fig. 5. Caciotta cheese was ripened for 1 month in a natural cave at CRA-ZOE of Bella.

Milk samples were collected during the morning and evening milking, and cheeses were sampled at the end of the ripening period. Chemical composition, pH, FA content and C14:1/C14:0 ratio were measured both in milk and cheese samples. VOC and sensory profile of Caciotta cheese were evaluated. Methods used for analytical assessments are given in previous section (see Sect. 2.1).

Changes in chemical composition, FA profile, VOC profile and textural properties of milk and Caciotta cheese were analysed by ANOVA procedure (Systat 7 1997) including the breed effect (Girgentana, Jonica, Maltese and Red Syrian). Data of sensory profile were normalised before submitting them to ANOVA repeated measures procedure. Significance was declared at P < 0.05, and tendencies were declared at 0.05 < P ::; 0.10; differences between means were tested using Fisher's LSD test. In order to ascertain the discriminant effect of the breed on

Fig. 5 Flowchart of Caciotta cheese

products, FA data of milk and cheese were pooled per breed and submitted to a multivariate approach by Stepwise Discriminant Analysis (Systat 7 1997).

  • [1] Goat cheese type pointed out by CRA-ZOE with Aglianico del Vulture, a Lucanian red wine (entecra.it)
 
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