A Study of the Diacetyl in Cheese. I. Diacetyl Content and Flavor of Cheddar Cheese1

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      Diacetyl is a prominent element in the flavor of many food products. To determine its presence in cheese and to make quantitative measurements of it, the colorimetric method described by Prill and Hammer (10) was modified. The color of the ammono-ferrous dimethylglyoximate formed in this procedure was measured spectrophotometrically.
      Diacetyl was found in all lots and kinds of cheese examined. The majority of the lots contained less than 0.05 mg. of diacetyl per 100 g. of cheese. The diacetyl content of Cheddar cheese ranged from 0.016 mg. to 0.335 mg. per 100 g. of cheese.
      A small quantity of diacetyl probably contributes to the typical flavor of Cheddar cheese. The majority of the lots of Cheddar cheese with an excellent flavor had a diacetyl content of less than 0.05 mg. per 100 g. Larger amounts of diacetyl than this frequently appear to be associated with flavor defects.


      1. Association of Official Agricultural Chemists. Official and Tentative Methods of Analysis. 6th ed. Washington, D.C. 1945.

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