Volatile fingerprints of 30 cumin cheese samples of artisanal farmers' cheese of Leiden with EU Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and 29 cumin cheese samples of varying commercial Dutch brands without PDO protection were used to develop authentication models. The headspace concentrations of the volatiles, as measured with high sensitivity proton-transfer mass spectrometry, were subsequently subjected to partial least-squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA). Farmers' cheese of Leiden showed a distinct volatile profile with 27 and 9 out of the 60 predominant ions showing respectively significantly higher and lower concentrations in the headspace of the cheese in comparison to the other cumin cheeses. The PLS-DA prediction models developed classified in cross-validation 96% of the samples of PDO protected, artisanal farmers' cheese of Leiden correctly, against 100% of commercial cumin cheese samples. The characteristic volatile compounds were tentatively identified by PTR-time-of-flight-MS. A consumer test indicated differences in appreciation, overall flavor intensity, creaminess, and firmness between the two cheese groups. The consumers' appreciation of the cumin cheese tested was not influenced by the presence of a name label or PDO trademark.
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