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Physicochemical, textural, volatile, and sensory profiles of traditional Sepet cheese
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Characterization of traditional cheeses is important for the protection of diversity of tradition and contributing baseline data for further research and quality control. Sepet cheese is a traditional cheese and specific to the Aegean region of Turkey. In this study, 52 Sepet cheese samples were analyzed to characterize the physicochemical, textural, volatile compounds, and sensory profiles. The changes in the physicochemical and volatile compositions were investigated during production and ripening periods. The average dry matter (DM; 55.16%), fat-in-DM (45.80%), protein (29.18%), salt-in-DM (12.88%), water activity (0.83), pH (5.50), titratable acidity (1.69%), ripening and lipolysis indices (11.06 and 6.36), firmness (212.20. N), springiness (0.62), cohesiveness (0.57), adhesiveness (0.48 Nmm), and chewiness (66.87. N) values of Sepet cheese samples were determined. Hexanoic, octanoic, decanoic, and butyric acids, which were responsible for the cheesy, waxy, goaty odors, were the most abundant volatile compounds in these cheeses. Most of the volatile compounds increased significantly during production and ripening. Significant changes in most of the physicochemical characteristics were observed up to the third month of ripening. As a result of the descriptive sensory analysis, Sepet cheeses were described with descriptors such as free fatty acid, animal like, sulfurous, creamy, cooked, and whey, and aromatics with high salty basic taste.