Testfaktas laboratory test of feta cheese consisted of analysis of sensory properties, nutritional content, and DNA, as well as testing for bacteria and antibiotics. The test’s purpose is to highlight authentic, high-quality feta cheese products.
Testfaktas laboratory test of feta cheese consisted of analysis of sensory properties, nutritional content, and DNA, as well as testing for bacteria and antibiotics. The test’s purpose was to highlight authentic, high-quality feta cheese products.
Testfakta tested and analyzed ten brands of feta cheese sold on the Swedish market. Fittingly, the test was carried out by a regional lab, at the independent Greek Foodlab in Thessaloniki. The selection consisted of non-organic and traditional cheeses, purchased in January 2023.
The test consisted of three parts. The first was a sensory analysis that assessed taste, aroma, appearance, and texture.
Feta cheese is a dry and crumbly, salty cheese that is traditionally made from sheep’s milk or a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk. Feta cheese has a distinct aroma that is salty and sour to slightly sour. The aroma can vary depending on the age of the cheese and the type of milk used to make it. It can also have a slightly gritty texture due to the salt crystals in the cheese. Feta cheese is usually white in color and may have small holes or pockets throughout the cheese.
In the sensory analysis, five specialists from the laboratory tasted the different feta cheeses. The cheeses were rated on a scale from 1 to 5 based on the above criteria for taste, aroma, appearance and texture, where a rating of 5 means that the cheese is of good quality.
The second part was a DNA analysis. A traditional feta cheese is made from sheep’s milk or a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk (however, a maximum of 30% goat’s milk). The cheese must not contain cow’s milk. To verify that none of the cheeses showed traces of cow’s milk, the laboratory conducted a DNA test. None of the tested cheeses showed any cow’s milk content.
In the third part, the laboratory first analyzed the nutritional content and how well it corresponds to declared levels of protein, fat, water and salt. The feta cheeses were also analyzed for trace elements from a total of 34 different types of antibiotics.
Testing also included screening for bacteria. Dairy products can contain bacteria that are harmful to our health. The most common is the presence of the intestinal bacteria E.coli (Escherichia coli) and Listeria. None of the feta cheeses in the sample showed elevated values for any of these bacteria.