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A preliminary study on the application of cluster analysis to the determination of the geographical origin of cheddar cheese based on semi-volatile composition

Authors: Peter Watkins and Chakra Wijesundera

Abstract:

Cluster analysis has been used to classify cheddar cheese produced in eight different countries according to the country of origin. The classification was made on the basis of a range of selected semi-volatile compounds. A hierarchical cluster analysis of cheese semi-volatile composition showed the existence of two distinct groups. One group consisted predominantly of Australian cheeses, while the other group mostly contained cheeses produced elsewhere, suggesting that the semi-volatile composition of a cheese can be used to determine its country of origin. 'Crisp' and 'fuzzy' clustering techniques also confirmed the presence of the two distinct groups.

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