We used a multivariate chemometric approach to differentiate or associate retail bovine milks with different fat contents and non-dairy beverages, using fatty acid profiles and statistical analysis. We collected samples of bovine milk (whole, semi-skim, and skim; n = 62) and non-dairy beverages (n = 27), and we analyzed them using gas-liquid chromatography. Principal component analysis of the fatty acid data yielded 3 significant principal components, which accounted for 72% of the total variance in the data set. Principal component 1 was related to saturated fatty acids (C4:0, C6:0, C8:0, C12:0, C14:0, C17:0, and C18:0) and monounsaturated fatty acids (C14:1 cis-9, C16:1 cis-9, C17:1 cis-9, and C18:1 trans-11); whole milk samples were clearly differentiated from the rest using this principal component. Principal component 2 differentiated semi-skim milk samples by n-3 fatty acid content (C20:3n-3, C20:5n-3, and C22:6n-3). Principal component 3 was related to C18:2 trans-9,trans-12 and C20:4n-6, and its lower scores were observed in skim milk and non-dairy beverages. A cluster analysis yielded 3 groups: group 1 consisted of only whole milk samples, group 2 was represented mainly by semi-skim milks, and group 3 included skim milk and non-dairy beverages. Overall, the present study showed that a multivariate chemometric approach is a useful tool for differentiating or associating retail bovine milks and non-dairy beverages using their fatty acid profile.
- fatty acid composition
- gas chromatography-flame ionization detection
- principal component analysis