Changes in fatty acid profile of feta cheese including conjugated linoleic acid


Correspondence to: Spiros Zlatanos, Laboratory of Organic Chemistry, Department of Chemical Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, GR-54124 Thessaloniki, Greece. E-mail:



During the last two decades much attention has been given to conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) because of its potentially beneficial biological effects. Cheese is one of the major dietary sources of CLA. However, the CLA content of Greek cheeses is variable and affected by many factors. Fatty acid analysis of feta cheese, made of sheep's milk, was conducted at different stages of the manufacturing process in order to monitor and explain fatty acid and especially CLA changes.


CLA content in fresh milk and during the early stages of manufacture was 0.66 ± 0.02 g 100 g−1 fatty acids; it increased during the ripening process (0.75 ± 0.06 g 100 g−1 fatty acids) and decreased during storage (0.52 ± 0.15 g 100 g−1 fatty acids). Saturated fatty acids (SFA), increased after 37 and 48 days of aging, while monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), showed the opposite tendency.


CLA content significantly increased during the ripening stages and decreased during aging (P ≤ 0.05). CLA is not stable during manufacture and storage of feta cheese, a fact which should be resolved, since this biologically active substance can be obtained from the diet.© 2012 Society of Chemical Industry