Characterization of two Agrostis-Festuca alpine pastures and their influence on cheese composition

J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Jan 16;61(2):447-55. doi: 10.1021/jf304756w. Epub 2013 Jan 7.


Recently, there has been a renewed interest in mountain farming, and several studies have been carried out on milk and cheese obtained in the unique environmental conditions of the Alps, a 1300 km mountain chain, located in the north of Italy. In this paper, the influence, on some cheese constituents, of two very similar mountain grasslands, both dominated by Festuca - Agrostis , was investigated. The two pastures were located in the same area in the southeastern Italian alpine region and differed in sunshine orientation and exposure. Milk obtained from cows grazing on these pastures was used to produce a semi-hard traditional cheese. The differences observed between the cheeses of the two areas for both some hydrocarbons (1-phytene and 2-phytene) and trans-fatty acids can be explained by a different rumen environment created by the botanical composition of the two pastures. The multidisciplinary approach can be considered a successful strategy, suitable for studying markers of authenticity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Agrostis / chemistry*
  • Agrostis / growth & development
  • Agrostis / radiation effects
  • Altitude
  • Animal Husbandry*
  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cheese / analysis*
  • Diet / ethnology
  • Female
  • Festuca / chemistry*
  • Festuca / growth & development
  • Festuca / radiation effects
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Lactation*
  • Milk / chemistry*
  • Milk / metabolism
  • Phytanic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Phytanic Acid / analysis
  • Phytanic Acid / chemistry
  • Phytanic Acid / metabolism
  • Plant Components, Aerial / chemistry*
  • Plant Components, Aerial / growth & development
  • Plant Components, Aerial / radiation effects
  • Sunlight
  • Trans Fatty Acids / analysis
  • Trans Fatty Acids / biosynthesis
  • Trans Fatty Acids / chemistry


  • Trans Fatty Acids
  • Phytanic Acid
  • phytenic acid