Cheese Ripening

Determination of cheese ripening times

Cheese Ripening

Cheese maturation is responsible for the distinct flavour of cheese and the modification of ripening agents determines the features that define varieties, such as texture, taste and body. However a series of complex chemical, physical and microbiological changes that occur during ripening affects the taste of the final product.

Determining the exact time when a cheese is ripe is extremely important but difficult to routinely perform at an industrial level. The flavour compounds in cheese create an analytical challenge for extraction, separation and quantification due to the complexity of the matrix and the very low concentrations.

Solution: GC-IMS FlavourSpec

The FlavourSpec provides a rapid analytical solution to identify the maturation stage of different types of cheeses. Rapid analysis of the headspace of cheese flavour compounds could provide a fast, easy and at-line process control. By determining the unique ripening markers and monitoring their evolution through time individual maturation points can be determined.

No sample preparation is required, identification of volatile organic compounds in the low ppb range from the headspace of solid cheese products can be analysed in less than 15 minutes.

Also, the system is a robust complementary technique to sensory panels, the FlavourSpec can analyse complex cheese matrices and potentially identify changes responsible for off-flavours.

Benefits of using a FlavourSpec for cheese ripening:

  • No sample preparation – analysis of headspace directly above cheese products
  • Liquids or Solids – analysis of solid cheese products
  • Headspace analysis – rapid VOC analysis of complex cheese matrices
  • Push button solution – simplistic analysis and visual evaluation
  • Low ppb range of detection – quantification of maturation time


Janneth Gallegos, Rocío Garrido-Delgado, Lourdes Arce, Luis M. Medina. (2015) Volatile Metabolites of Goat Cheeses Determined by Ion Mobility Spectrometry. Potential Applications in Quality Control. Food Analytical Methods. 8(7), pp 1699-1709

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