Published online by Cambridge University Press: 18 April 2011
Dry matter, protein, fat, pH, mineral (Na, K, Ca and Mg) and trace elements (Fe, Cu, Zn and Se) concentrations were determined in samples of goats’ milk and in fresh, semi-hard and hard cheeses to study the effect of the goats’ diet and the type of rennet used for the cheese processing of the Palmero Protected Designation of Origin cheeses. Two groups of 20 Palmero goats were fed 2 different diets: a Palmero diet (PD supplied by native forages adapted to subhumid areas, which had a high ratio of long fibre to concentrates (65:35), and an actual diet (AD), the most commonly used by goat farmers, with a low ratio of long fibre to concentrates (35:65). In general, the cheese samples from goats fed with PD had higher mean Ca, Zn, Cu and Se concentrations than the samples obtained from AD fed goats. The diet exhibited a greater influence on the chemical composition of the cheeses than the rennet used in their production. Applying a stepwise linear discriminant analysis a complete percentage of correct classifications of the three types of cheeses according to the diet of the goats was observed.