Comparison of chemical composition of organic and conventional Italian cheeses from parallel production

C L Manuelian, M Pozza, M Franzoi, F Righi, U Schmutz, M De Marchi

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1 Citation (Scopus)
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Although there are several studies comparing organic and conventional milk characteristics, very few focused on dairy processed products such as cheese. Thus, this study aimed for a detailed controlled examination of gross composition, minerals, and the fatty acid profile of organic (ORG) and conventional (CON) Italian cheeses from parallel production. Four Italian cheese types were analyzed: 'Latteria' (ORG, n = 9; CON, n = 10); 'Asiago Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO) fresco' (ORG, n = 9; CON, n = 9); 'Caciotta' (ORG, n = 8; CON, n = 8); and 'Mozzarella Traditional Specialties Guaranteed (TSG)' (ORG, n = 14; CON, n = 14). Cheese samples were collected from September 2020 to August 2021. Gross composition, minerals, and fatty acids were determined using infrared spectroscopy. Within each cheese type, paired ORG and CON samples were compared using a non-parametric Wilcoxon signed-rank test. 'Latteria' showed lower PUFA, n-3, and n-6 content, and greater Fe, K, C10:0, C12:0, and C16:0 content in ORG than CON. 'Asiago PDO fresco' showed lower protein and Zn content, and greater salt, ash, and Na content in ORG than CON. 'Caciotta' showed lower ash, n-3, and n-6 content and greater K, C4:0, C8:0, C10:0, C14:0, and C16:0 content in ORG than CON. 'Mozzarella TSG' showed lower fat and, therefore, fatty acids content, and greater moisture, ash, and Mg content in ORG than CON. In conclusion, few significant differences in chemical composition were observed between ORG and CON cheeses, regardless of the type considered. Moreover, 'Asiago PDO fresco' showed fewer significant differences between ORG and CON when compared with 'Latteria', 'Caciotta', and 'Mozzarella TSG'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6646-6654
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number10
Early online date8 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article under the CC BY license (


This research was funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, grant agreement No 774340 (Organic-PLUS project).


  • low-input system
  • product quality
  • PDO food
  • quality control


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