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To establish the odor profiles of three differently fabricated commercial Swiss Tilsit cheeses, analyses were conducted using headspace solid-phase microextraction gas chromatography-mass spectrometry/pulsed flame photometric detection and gas chromatography-olfactometry to identify and quantitate volatile compounds. In addition, odor quality and the impact of target sulfur compounds on the overall odor of the cheeses were investigated. The odor profile was found to be mainly influenced by buttery-cheesy and sulfury odor notes in all cheeses. Buttery-cheesy odor notes were attributed to three main molecules: butanoic acid, 3-methylbutanoic acid, and butane-2,3-dione. Over a dozen volatile sulfur compounds were detected at parts per billion levels, but only a few influenced the odor profile of the cheeses: methanethiol, dimethyl disulfide, bis(methylthio)methane, dimethyl trisulfide, 3-(methylthio)propanal, and 2-methyltetrahydrothiophen-3-one (tentative). In conclusion, the conducted analyses allowed differentiation of the cheeses, and gas chromatography-olfactometry results confirmed that partially thermized milk cheese has a more intense and more multifaceted overall flavor.


Pascal Fuchsmann, Mireille Tena Stern, Yves-Alain Brügger, Katharina Breme. Olfactometry Profiles and Quantitation of Volatile Sulfur Compounds of Swiss Tilsit Cheeses. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry. 2015 Sep 2;63(34):7511-21

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PMID: 26230142

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