Volatile compounds and lipolysis levels of Kopanisti, a traditional Greek raw milk cheese


Correspondence to: Aikaterini Georgala. Laboratory of Dairy Research,

Department of Food Science and Technology, Agricultural University of Athens,

Athens, Greece. E-mail: georgala@aua.gr



Kopanisti is a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) traditional soft Greek cheese manufactured exclusively in the Cycladic island complex. It is made from raw bovine, ovine or caprine milk or a mixture of them without the addition of any lactic acid cultures. It has a spreadable texture, an intense salty and peppery taste and a strong flavour. Although Kopanisti cheese has properties similar to those of mould-ripened cheeses, its volatile compound content has never been reported. In this study the volatile compound content and lipolysis level of ten commercial Kopanisti samples were investigated.


The main aromatic groups found in Kopanisti cheese were alcohols, esters and volatile free fatty acids. Ethanol and several ethyl esters were the main volatile compounds. Intense lipolysis was present, with an average total free fatty acid content of 48 979 mg kg−1. Acetic, butyric and capric acids were the main volatile acids determined.


The intense lipolysis contributes greatly to the strong flavour and peppery taste of Kopanisti cheese. The flavour of Kopanisti is attributable mainly to the volatile fatty acids and various other volatile compounds as well as to the interactions occurring between them.© 2012 Society of Chemical Industry