Buffalo milk mozzarella or buffaloed consumers? New test can provide the answer

Those tiny balls of boutique mozzarella cheese with the sticker-shock price tag beckoning from the dairy case—are they the real deal, mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP, crafted from the milk of water buffaloes? Or are they really cheap fakes made from cow's milk? A new method described in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry promises to provide the answer for mozzarella and other dairy products.

Barbara van Asch and colleagues explain that premium dairy products, such as imported specialty cheeses labeled with a designation of origin, are most vulnerable to adulteration. Unscrupulous manufacturers may substitute a less costly ingredient for an expensive one or skimp on high-quality ingredients. Previous studies show that the problem is widespread, with bogus dairy products surfacing in Italy, Spain, China, India and other countries. Current methods of detecting fakes can't simultaneously detect cow, goat, sheep and buffalo milks—the ones most likely to be involved in adulteration—and have other drawbacks. The scientists thus set out to develop a better test.

They describe development and successful laboratory testing of such a test on 96 commercially available in Europe, including cheeses, milks, yogurts and butters. About 12 percent of the products did not contain ingredients listed on the labels. For example, one product label indicated that it was made from 100 percent sheep milk. The test, however, showed that it also contained ingredients from cows and .

More information: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry doi: 10.1021/jf3029896

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

High levels of iron in water may hurt dairy products

Jul 13, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Cows are thirsty and with good reason — they need to drink nearly 30 gallons of water a day to produce milk and stay healthy. That water needs to be high quality because much of the ingested ...

FDA issues contaminated cheese warning

Jan 31, 2008

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a consumer warning and recall of possibly contaminated Grassy Meadows Dairy Co. cheeses.

Cancer-causing toxin found in Chinese baby formula

Jul 23, 2012

A Chinese dairy has been ordered to suspend production after a cancer-causing toxin was found in its infant formula, China's quality watchdog said Monday, in the country's latest milk scare.

Toxin found in Chinese milk

Dec 26, 2011

China has discovered excessive levels of a cancer-causing toxin in milk produced by one of the nation's leading dairy companies, the firm said, in the latest in a series of food safety alarms.

Kids still not drinking enough milk

Oct 04, 2007

American children are drinking too little milk and what they are consuming is too high in fat, according to a Penn State study.

Recommended for you

Independent safety investigation needed in the NHS

24 minutes ago

The NHS should follow the lead of aviation and other safety-critical industries and establish an independent safety investigation agency, according to a paper published today by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. The au ...

Sexual fantasies: Are you normal?

4 hours ago

Hoping for sex with two women is common but fantasizing about golden showers is not. That's just one of the findings from a research project that scientifically defines sexual deviation for the first time ever. It was undertaken ...

AMA 'Code of Ethics' offers guidance for physicians

10 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The American Medical Association (AMA) Code of Ethics and other articles provide guidance for physicians in relation to public health emergencies, according to a report from the AMA.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.