BACKGROUND: Enzymes present in the flowers of Cynara cardunculus (cyprosins) are used in the production of some traditional Spanish and Portuguese cheeses, replacing animal rennet. The aim of this work was to study the changes that take place in free amino acids during the ripening of a goat's milk cheese (Murcia al Vino) manufactured with plant coagulant (PC) or animal rennet (AR).
RESULTS: The total free amino acid (TFAA) concentration increased during ripening, with Ile, Val, Ala, Phe, Gaba, Arg and Lys representing more than 50% of the TFAA content at 60 days in both types of cheese. The TFAA concentration was significantly higher in cheeses made with PC (854 mg 100 g−1 total solids (TS)) than those made with AR (735 mg 100 g−1 TS). The concentration of most free amino acids, especially His, Ser, Gln, Thr, Ala, Met and Ile, was higher in the PC cheese.
CONCLUSION: Cheese made using PC as coagulant presented higher contents of free amino acid throughout the ripening period than cheese made using AR. Therefore we can conclude that the use of PC to produce Murcia al Vino goat's cheese would accelerate the ripening process as a result of increased cyprosin proteolytic activity. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry