Gouda Cheese Surrenders Its Secrets | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: March 11, 2009

Gouda Cheese Surrenders Its Secrets

A taste panel and analytical techniques reveal the source of Gouda flavor characteristics
Department: Government & Policy
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OLDER IS BETTER
Kokumi peptides enhance the flavor of aged Gouda cheese.
Credit: Jon Sullivan
8711_goudaLN
 
OLDER IS BETTER
Kokumi peptides enhance the flavor of aged Gouda cheese.
Credit: Jon Sullivan

Scientists in Germany have identified key compounds that contribute to the complex flavor and texture of aged Gouda, a mild cheese of Dutch origin. Food chemist Thomas Hofmann of the Technical University of Munich, Weihenstephan, and colleagues made their discovery with the assistance of a group of committed taste panelists, who underwent weekly training sessions for at least two years in order to help with the research. Hofmann???s team also wielded gel permeation chromatography, high-performance liquid chromatography, and mass spectrometry in their quest to isolate and identify the compounds that enhance Gouda???s character.

The researchers compared the composition of a "young" Gouda cheese that had ripened for only four weeks with that of a "mature" Gouda that had ripened for 44 weeks. The aged cheese has a fuller, more complex, and long-lasting taste that is known as the "kokumi sensation," a term used by Japanese researchers to describe a rich, thick taste. Hofmann???s team determined that the kokumi sensation can be traced to six -L-glutamyl peptides?? (J. Agric. Food Chem. 2009, 57, 1440). Their findings could be used to enhance the flavor of other dairy products.

 
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