Effect of cyclodextrins on the flavour of goat milk and its yoghurt
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A previous study showed that addition of β-cyclodextrin to goat milk made a difference to its flavour, but in an undescribed way. Cyclodextrins (CDs, comprising α- β- and γ-CD) may be able to bind the free branched chain fatty acids in goat milk responsible for the largely undesirable ‘goaty’ flavour. The primary aim was to test the effect of CDs on this flavour in goat milk and its products with a view to marketing goat milk products with reduced flavour intensity. A secondary aim was to test the effect of β-CD on skatole flavour, a characteristic flavour of milk from pasturefed ruminants. Study design and methods: The present study evaluates addition of mainly β-CD to goat milk, cow milk and their products to reduce undesirable flavours. The methods applied were mainly ranking and hedonic assessment in sensory experiments. The tests done were with CDs added to buffers and milks, some of which were flavour-enhanced with 4-methyloctanoic acid as a representative goaty fatty acid, or with skatole. Goat milk yoghurts were also tested. Free fatty acid concentrations, which may be affected by CD binding, were measured after separating cream and skim milk. The methods applied were standard dairy procedures: titration of free fatty acids in milk fat and the copper-salt method for measuring fatty acids in skim milk. A fungal lipase was added to milks to accelerate fat hydrolysis (lipolysis). This was done to increase the concentration of free fatty acids for several experimental purposes. Some minor experiments studies were also done, for example the comparative effect of lipases on goat milk and cow milk, and the lipolytic activity at different temperatures over different times. Results: The results of skatole experiments were inconclusive. The odour of 4-methyloctanoic acid was reduced in acidic buffers by addition of α- and β-CD, particularly the former. Alpha and β-CD were both effective in goaty flavour reduction in goat milk. γ-CD was not effective. In all this work differences were statistically significant to varying levels. Goaty flavour was reduced by addition of β-CD to goat milk yoghurt, but only when added before fermentation (P < 0.001), not after (P = 0.09). The liking scores for goat milk yoghurts for both plain and flavoured yoghurts increased with β-CD treatment (both P < 0.001 for 59 panellists). The chemistry experiments revealed a reduction of free fatty acid concentration in the fat phase when β-CD treatment was added to full cream cow milk. However, analysis of skim milk did not show a corresponding increase in concentration. Further experiments are required to reveal the fate of the ‘missing’ fatty acids. Conclusion: Overall it was shown that under certain conditions, CDs were effective in reducing goaty flavour in milk and yoghurts. Whereas CDs are approved for addition to foods in many countries – including the bellwether U.S.A. – formal approval by Food Standards Australia New Zealand has not yet been finalized. When it is, the way should be clear to market a range of more consumer-acceptable goat milk products in New Zealand as a primary market. In short, this research has significant commercial relevance.