Previous research on matched pairs of experimental cheese showed that heat treatment of milk affected flavor properties. However, whether pasteurization has a generalized effect or whether the effect is specific to certain cheese varieties is not known. Experienced, highly trained sensory panelists developed flavor profiles for seven commercially available French cheeses (Brie, Coulommier, Camembert, Saint Nectaire, Muenster, Chèvre and Bleu) for which versions made from pasteurized or unpasteurized milk were commercially available. Raw-milk cheese had stronger odor properties. Soft cheeses with white rind (Brie, Coulommier, Camembert and Saint Nectaire) as well as Chèvre and Bleu were affected similarly by heat treatment of milk, but the sensory characteristics of Muenster cheese did not follow the pattern of other cheeses. These results suggest that many, but not all, cheese types show similar changes in sensory attributes as a result of using pasteurized rather than raw milk.


This study gives manufacturers and researchers information on flavor differences that exist between similar cheese types made from raw or pasteurized milk. Researchers and manufacturers can use that information in order to develop pasteurized-milk cheese that has the traditional full-flavored characteristics of its raw-milk counterpart.