The hole formation of different samples of Montasio cheese was studied using an image-analyzer which allowed numerical parameterization of the images acquired to be obtained in such a way as to objectively quantify dimensional parameters, such as the area and diameter of the individual holes and the percentage of area occupied by the holes, which are usually confined to a subjective evaluation. In parallel, a determination of the gamma-aminobutyric acid (Gaba) was performed for the same samples. Thus it was possible to verify that the relative percentage of this amino acid of catabolic origin is associated with hole formation whose form, size and distribution are well defined. It was also possible to define value-thresholds with regard to the Gaba content, below which the cheese proves to be non-typical in as far as it presents a low percentage of area occupied by holes, compared to that now considered to be typical.
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