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489 proteins were identified in Feta cheese, the national treasure of Greece
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Thursday 23 Dec 2021

"Feta PDO cheese, a global star. The scientific documentation that Feta is one of the most protein-rich types of cheese in the world is a fact…”

Two researchers from the Medical Biological Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens (IIVEAA), Dr. Athanasios Anagnostopoulos and Dr. Georgios Tsagaris, analyzed the Greek Feta, deciphering for the first time its 'nutritional footprint'. This is unique to each food, as is the genetic DNA profile in humans.

Thus, its content, value and nutritional properties were "revealed" at the molecular level.

These brilliant scientists with high-definition mass spectrographs analyzed many representative samples from all parts of Greece that produce Feta of Protected Designation of Origin" (PDO), seeking to identify all the proteins and peptides they contain.

" It was found that Feta PDO from all regions of our country contains a total of 489 different proteins, which makes it one of the richest types of cheese in the world. These 489 proteins constitute the identity"" of the Greek Feta and belong to various groups of biofunctional proteins. Among others, proteins related to the regulation of the immune system, with antimicrobial activity, as well as proteins that control the gut microbiome are included."

Many vitamin-related proteins were also identified, such as D responsible for the promotion of calcium to the bones, vitamin B12 responsible for the promotion and intake of iron and other functional trace elements. Proteins associated with the nervous system's function, kidney function, as well as proteins for cholesterol metabolism and blood pressure regulation were also detected in the Greek Feta PDO.

In addition to proving the high nutritional value of the Greek Feta PDO, based on the findings of the research, a new method was developed for the traceability of the milk used, the determination of the existence of adulteration in it, its separation from similar products and finally, the identification of the origin of the Feta cheese as an exclusively Greek product with a protected designation of origin.

The high nutritional value of our national cheese was confirmed through the innovative methodology of Trofometry (trophometry, foodometry, nutriometry), which is applied exclusively at IIBEAA and concerns all mass spectrometry methods, which lead to the identification of all proteins, peptides, metabolites of lipids and all other groups of molecules of each food, which combined create its "nutritional footprint". The specific technology and expertise of trophometry makes the Proteomics Research Unit unique in the Balkans and Southeast Europe in the application of molecular traceability.

Trophometry can be applied to all types of food, including liquids, solids, foods of animal or vegetable origin, dairy products, dietary supplements, etc. accurately identifying the Superior Quality Products (PQP) that have beneficial effects on human health, the geographical origin of each food (Greek, PDO, product of geographical indication - PGI, guaranteed traditional unique product - EPIP), as well as biofunctional foods.

Source: 489 Πρωτεΐνες ταυτοποιήθηκαν στο τυρί φέτα, τον εθνικό θησαυρό της Ελλάδας (Σίσσυ Νίκα- Δημοσιογράφος, ειδικός Διατροφολογίας)


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