The effect of including citrus fruits (CF) and artichoke silage (AS) in the rations of dairy ewes on texture, colour and sensorial characteristics of ripened cheeses was evaluated. This study was carried out over a two-year period. During each lactation period four groups of ewes were fed with rations containing 0, 10, 20 and 30% of either CF or AS in a dry matter basis. Bulk milk samples were collected three times during each experimental period and semi-hard cheeses were manufactured and sampled during ripening. Cheese colour was significantly influenced by the increase of citrus fruits in the ration so that these ripened cheeses presented a "yellower" colour compared to control cheeses. Texture and sensory parameters of ripened cheese were not influenced by the inclusion of citric fruits. Artichoke silage in the rations did not affect colour or texture of ripened cheeses. Sensory evaluation revealed that inclusion of artichoke silage did not reduce the overall impression scores of cheese; on the contrary the highest score was for cheeses corresponding to 10% of artichoke silage in the ration. According to our results, the inclusion of these two byproducts in the diet of lactating ewes does not impair the sensory and textural characteristics of 60-day-old cheeses.
|Publication status||Published - 1 May 2012|