Under European Union regulations, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese can be given that name only if it is produced in a certain region of Italy by a particular process. The worldwide market for Parmigiano-Reggiano is about $1.3 billion, Consonni says. Because of the high price of this cheese, especially if it’s aged for two to three years, manufacturers or retailers may try to substitute less expensive cheese or label young Parmigiano-Reggiano as older. In a 2008 study, Consonni and coworkers found that NMR could distinguish Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese aged for 14, 24, or 30 months (Talanta, DOI: 10.1016/j.talanta.2008.02.022). Homing in on the specific chemicals and their variations, the researchers found that younger samples contained more leucine and isoleucine, whereas older samples contained more threonine. They also used the technique to distinguish Parmigiano-Reggiano from similar hard cheeses from Eastern Europe. The Eastern European cheeses contained more leucine, isoleucine, lactic acid, butanoate, and acetic acid relative to Parmigiano-Reggiano, whereas the Parmigiano-Reggiano samples had comparatively higher amounts of threonine, valine, proline, glutamic acid, lysine, alanine, serine, arginine, and citrulline.
by Jyllian Kemsley |
October 08, 2012