Seasonal Variation in Goat's Milk Composition and Its Effect on Cheese Quality
Wimsatt, Stratton Thomas
Tikekar, Rohan V
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The composition of goat cheese was evaluated over a 12-month period to evaluate the influence of seasonal variation in goats’ milk composition on variation in yield and composition of cheeses. Milk analysis included total fat, nonfat solids, and total protein. Yield was significantly correlated with milk composition. Cheese analysis included moisture content, water activity, crude lipid content, and ash content. Goat’s milk was found to have significant variation in all parameters between seasons, with peak content in winter months. Significant differences were found in the compositions of cheeses, although not all followed the seasonal trends observed in milk. Correlations between milk and cheese compositions were evaluated but not found to be significant. Finally, an in-house environmental monitoring plan for Listeria spp. was evaluated using Hygiena® swabs. The in-house method was accurate in 78% of samples with no instances of false negatives.