Characterization of the volatile organic compounds of Italian 'Fossa' cheese by solid-phase microextraction gas chromatography/mass spectrometry.Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2010 Dec 15; 24(23):3405-12.RC
Fossa cheese is an Italian hard cheese, ripened for up to 3 months in underground pits dug into tuffaceous rock. During this period, the cheese develops a unique flavour and intense and somewhat piquant aroma. Solid-phase microextraction gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (SPME-GC/MS) was utilized to characterize the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of Fossa cheese. A total of 75 VOCs were separated and identified; in particular, the major class of compounds found in the cheeses ripened in the pits were the esters of fatty acids. Discriminant analysis of volatile profiles allowed us to distinguish between cheeses in different stages of seasoning (60-day-old cheese and cheese ripened an additional 90 days in and out of the pits).