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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


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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