Abstract: Soft goat cheese was fortified with four levels of purified fish oil (0, 60, 80, and 100 g fish oil per 3600 g goat milk) prior to curd formation to deliver high levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) per serving. The cheese was evaluated for proximate composition, EPA+DHA content, oxidative stability, color, pH, and consumer acceptability. The cheese was partially vacuum packed and stored at 2 °C for four weeks. The fat content was significantly (p < 0.05) higher in the fortified treatments compared to the control, but was not significantly different among fortified treatments. Likewise, EPA+DHA contents were not significantly different among fortified samples, averaging 127 mg EPA+DHA per 28 g serving. No significant lipid oxidation was detected by thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) or hexanal and propanal headspace analyses over the four week refrigerated shelf-life study for any treatments. The fortified cheeses were all liked ‘moderately’ by consumers (n = 105) for overall acceptability, although the 60 g fortification level did rate significantly higher. The control cheese and the 60 g fortification level had no significant differences in consumer purchase intent. These results demonstrate that fortification levels of up to 127 mg EPA+DHA per serving may be added to soft cheese without negatively affecting shelf-life or consumer purchase intent.
Practical Application: Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have strong associations with health and well-being, and fish oil is a rich source of these fatty acids. In this study, goat cheese was successfully fortified to deliver 127 mg omega-3 fatty acids per 28 g serving without affecting shelf life or consumer purchase intent.