Flavor profiles of full-fat and reduced-fat cheese and cheese fat made from aged Cheddar with the fat removed using a novel process

J Dairy Sci. 2006 Feb;89(2):505-17. doi: 10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(06)72113-0.


Many consumers are concerned with fat intake. However, many reduced-fat foods, including reduced-fat cheese, lack robust flavors. The objectives of this study were to characterize the flavors found in full-fat cheese, cheese fat, and reduced-fat cheese made from aged Cheddar using a novel process to remove the fat (Nelson and Barbano, 2004). Two full-fat, aged cheeses (9 and 39 mo) were selected, and the fat was removed using the novel fat removal process. Full-fat cheeses, shredded and reformed full-fat cheeses, corresponding reduced-fat cheeses, and cheese fats were then analyzed using descriptive sensory and instrumental analysis followed by consumer acceptance testing. Cheeses were extracted with diethyl ether followed by isolation of volatile material by high vacuum distillation. Volatile extracts were analyzed using gas chromatography/ olfactometry with aroma extract dilution analysis. Selected compounds were quantified. The 39-mo cheese was characterized by fruity and sulfur notes, and the 9-mo-old cheese was characterized by a spicy/brothy flavor. Reduced-fat cheeses had similar flavor profiles with no difference in most sensory attributes to corresponding full-fat cheeses. Sensory profiles of the cheese fats were characterized by low intensities of the prominent flavors found in the full-fat cheeses. Instrumental analysis revealed similar trends. Consistent with sensory analysis, there were lower concentrations and log(3) flavor dilution factors for most compounds in the cheese fats compared with both the reduced- and full-fat cheeses, regardless of compound polarity. Consumers found the intensity of flavor in the reduced-fat cheese to be equal to the full-fat cheeses. This study demonstrated that when fat was removed from aged full-fat Cheddar cheese, most of the flavor and flavor compounds remained in the cheese and were not removed with the fat.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cheese / analysis*
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Chemistry, Physical
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Fats / analysis*
  • Food Handling / methods
  • Humans
  • Odorants / analysis
  • Smell
  • Taste*
  • Time Factors
  • Volatilization


  • Dietary Fats
  • Fats