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Formaggio di Fossa is an Italian traditional cheese of the Montefeltro area (Emilia Romagna and Marche regions) characterized by a particular step of ripening that is carried out into pits (infossamento) borne in the sandstone. Since the XIV century, the inhabitants were used to set food, especially cereals and cheese, into pits to preserve them during winter and to protect them from invaders. The aim of the present work is to study physical and chemical features of this product with particular reference to the presence of the most important biogenic amines ( -Phenylethylamine, putrescine, cadaverine, histamine, tyramine, spermine and spermidine), compared with a control cheese fully ripened in factory. Formaggio di Fossa showed higher values of Aw, pH, humidity, proteins, pH 4,6-soluble nitrogen (NCN) and water soluble nitrogen (NPN) and much lower amounts of fat. Much higher amounts of total biogenic amines were detected in Formaggio di Fossa than in control cheese, where their concentration was very low. Cadaverine, putrescine and tyramine were the most concentrated biogenic amines. Nevertheless, thyramine was present at levels suggested as compatible with GMPs. Histamine was detected at low amounts, far from potentially toxic levels.
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