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Special Issue "Volatile Compounds and Smell Chemicals (Odor and Aroma) of Food"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Analytical Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2020).

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Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Eugenio Aprea
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Center Agriculture Food Environment, University of Trento/Fondazione Edmund Mach, Via E. Mach, 1 - 38010 S.Michele all'Adige (TN), Italy
Interests: gas chromatography; mass spectrometry; physical and chemical properties of food and relationship with human sensory perception; sensory analysis
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Among the constituents of food, volatile compounds are a particularly intriguing group of molecules, because they give rise to odour and aroma. Indeed, olfaction is one of the main aspects influencing the appreciation or dislike of particular food items. Volatile compounds are perceived through the smell sensory organs of the nasal cavity, and evoke numerous associations and emotions, even before the food is tasted. Such a reaction occurs because the information from these receptors is directed to the hippocampus and amygdala, the key regions of the brain involved in learning and memory.

In addition to identifying the odour active compounds, the analysis of the volatile compounds in food is also applicable for detecting the ripening, senescence, and decay in fruit and vegetables, as well as monitoring and controlling the changes during food processing and storage (i.e., preservation, fermentation, cooking, and packaging).

I warmly invite colleagues to submit their original research or review articles covering all aspects of volatile compounds research in the food sector (excluding pesticides), and/or the analytical methods used to identify, measure, and monitor these molecules.

Dr. Eugenio Aprea
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Odour
  • Aroma profiling
  • Flavour
  • Food processing
  • Maillard reaction
  • Oxidation
  • Fermentation
  • Food Decay
  • Solid phase microextraction
  • Gas chromatography
  • Spectrometry
  • Gas sensors
  • Fingerprinting
  • Volatilome

Published Papers (22 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Special Issue “Volatile Compounds and Smell Chemicals (Odor and Aroma) of Food”
Molecules 2020, 25(17), 3811; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25173811 - 21 Aug 2020
Viewed by 698
Abstract
Among the constituents of food, volatile compounds are a particularly intriguing group of molecules, because they give rise to odour and aroma [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volatile Compounds and Smell Chemicals (Odor and Aroma) of Food)

Research

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Article
Aroma Investigation of New and Standard Apple Varieties Grown at Two Altitudes Using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry Combined with Sensory Analysis
Molecules 2020, 25(13), 3007; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25133007 - 30 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1043
Abstract
The aromatic profile of apples constitutes important information for the characterization and description of local products. Apple flavor is determined by perception in mouth and aroma; while the first is mainly defined by sugars and organic acids, aroma is a complex mixture of [...] Read more.
The aromatic profile of apples constitutes important information for the characterization and description of local products. Apple flavor is determined by perception in mouth and aroma; while the first is mainly defined by sugars and organic acids, aroma is a complex mixture of many volatile organic compounds (VOCs) whose composition is often specific to the variety. Headspace-solid phase microextraction gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (HS-SPME-GC-MS) allows for the detection of detailed information of volatile constituents. In this study, eleven apple varieties (Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Coop 39-Crimson Crisp®, Dalinette-Choupette®, Fujion, CIV323-Isaaq®, Coop43-Juliet®, SQ159-Natyra®, UEB32642-Opal®) grown in two pedoclimatic locations at different altitudes in South Tyrol (Italy) (ca. 225 m and ca. 650 m a.s.l.) were investigated. Thirty-eight VOCs were identified and combined with sensory analysis results (from 11 trained panelist) to characterize the aroma of new and standard apple varieties with a special focus on pedoclimatic location differences. The study shows strong diversification of the varieties based on their VOC profiles and sensory attributes, as expected. Moreover, investigating how the pedoclimatic location at different altitudes can influence the apple aroma profile, we identified twelve VOCs involved in these differences and provided a deeper investigation on how different altitudes can influence the apple aroma composition and perceptions combining the analytical and sensory parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volatile Compounds and Smell Chemicals (Odor and Aroma) of Food)
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Article
Effect of Different Clarification Treatments on the Volatile Composition and Aromatic Attributes of ‘Italian Riesling’ Icewine
Molecules 2020, 25(11), 2657; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25112657 - 08 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 902
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of clarification treatments on volatile composition and aromatic attributes of wine samples. ‘Italian Riesling’ icewines from the Hexi Corridor Region of China were clarified by fining agents (bentonite (BT) and soybean protein (SP)), [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of clarification treatments on volatile composition and aromatic attributes of wine samples. ‘Italian Riesling’ icewines from the Hexi Corridor Region of China were clarified by fining agents (bentonite (BT) and soybean protein (SP)), membrane filtration (MF), and centrifugation (CF) methods. The clarity, physicochemical indexes, volatile components, and aromatic attributes of treated wines were investigated. Both the fining agents and mechanical clarification treatments increased the transmittance and decreased the color intensity of icewine samples. Bentonite fining significantly influenced the total sugar content, total acidity and volatile acidity. Total acidity decreased 2–3.5% and volatile acidity 2–12%. MF showed the greatest influence on total phenol content, decreasing the initial content by 12%, while other treatments by less than 8%. Volatile analysis indicated that both the categories and contents of volatile compounds of wine samples decreased. MF treatment showed the most significant influence, while SP fining showed much lower impact. Odor activity values indicated the compound with the highest odor activity in Italian Riesling icewines was β-damascenone. For this compound, BT and SP did not show significant differences, however, in MF and CF it decreased by 20% and 63%, respectively. Furthermore, with high impact on aroma were: ethyl hexanoate which reduced by 20–80% especially in MF; rose oxide which extremely reduced in MF and undetected in BT, SP, and CF; isoamyl acetate which reduced by 3–33% and linalool decreased by 10–20% and undetected for BT. Principle component analysis indicated that icewine clarified by different methods could be distinguished and positively correlated with odor-active compounds. Floral and fruity were the dominant aroma series in icewine samples followed by fatty, earthy, spicy, vegetative and pungent flavor. The total odor active value of these series significantly (p < 0.5) decreased in different clarification treatments. Sensory evaluation showed similar results, but the SP and CF wine samples achieved better sensory quality. This study provides information that could help to optimize the clarification of ice wines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volatile Compounds and Smell Chemicals (Odor and Aroma) of Food)
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Article
From Extra Virgin Olive Oil to Refined Products: Intensity and Balance Shifts of the Volatile Compounds versus Odor
Molecules 2020, 25(11), 2469; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25112469 - 26 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 788
Abstract
To explore relationships between the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of different grades of olive oils (OOs) (extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), refined olive oil (ROO), and pomace olive oil (POO)) and odor quality, VOCs were measured in the headspace of the oils by [...] Read more.
To explore relationships between the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of different grades of olive oils (OOs) (extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), refined olive oil (ROO), and pomace olive oil (POO)) and odor quality, VOCs were measured in the headspace of the oils by proton transfer reaction quadrupole ion guide time-of-flight mass spectrometry. The concentrations of most VOCs differed significantly between the grades (EVOO > ROO > POO), whereas the abundance of m/z 47.012 (formic acid), m/z 49.016 (fragments), m/z 49.027 (fragments), and m/z 115.111 (heptanal/heptanone) increased in that order. Although the refined oils had considerably lower VOC abundance, the extent of the decline varied with the VOCs. This results in differences in VOCs proportions. The high VOC abundance in the EVOO headspace in comparison to ROO and POO results in a richer and more complex odor. The identified C5–C6 compounds are expected to contribute mainly to the green odor notes, while the identified C1–C4 and C7–C15 are mainly responsible for odor defects of OOs. Current results reveal that processing strongly affects both the quantitative and relative abundance of the VOCs and, therefore, the odor quality of the various grades of OOs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volatile Compounds and Smell Chemicals (Odor and Aroma) of Food)
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Article
Volatile Profile in Yogurt Obtained from Saanen Goats Fed with Olive Leaves
Molecules 2020, 25(10), 2311; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25102311 - 14 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 739
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the development of volatile compounds in yogurt samples obtained from goats fed a dietary supplementation with olive leaves (OL). For this purpose, thirty Saanen goats were divided into two homogeneous groups of 15 goats each: [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the development of volatile compounds in yogurt samples obtained from goats fed a dietary supplementation with olive leaves (OL). For this purpose, thirty Saanen goats were divided into two homogeneous groups of 15 goats each: a control group that received a standard diet (CG) and an experimental group whose diet was supplemented with olive leaves (OLG). The trial lasted 28 days, at the end of which the milk of each group was collected and used for yogurt production. Immediately after production, and after 7 days of storage at 4 °C in the absence of light, the yogurt samples were characterized in terms of fatty acid profile, oxidative stability and volatile compounds by the solid-phase microextraction (SPME)–GC/MS technique. Dietary OL supplementation positively affected the fatty acid composition, inducing a significant increase in the relative proportion of unsaturated fatty acids, mainly oleic acid (C18:1 cis9) and linolenic acid (C18:3). With regard to the volatile profile, both in fresh and yogurt samples stored for 7 days, the OL supplementation induced an increase in free fatty acids, probably due to an increase in lipolysis carried out by microbial and endogenous milk enzymes. Specifically, the largest variations were found for C6, C7, C8 and C10 free fatty acids. In the same samples, a significant decrease in aldehydes, mainly heptanal and nonanal, was also detected, supporting—at least in part—an improvement in the oxidative stability. Moreover, alcohols, esters and ketones appeared lower in OLG samples, while no significant variations were observed for lactones. These findings suggest the positive role of dietary OL supplementation in the production of goats’ milk yogurt, with characteristics potentially indicative of an improvement in nutritional properties and flavor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volatile Compounds and Smell Chemicals (Odor and Aroma) of Food)
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Article
Identification of Aroma Differences in Refined and Whole Grain Extruded Maize Puffs
Molecules 2020, 25(9), 2261; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25092261 - 11 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 758
Abstract
Differences in the aroma profiles of extruded maize puffs made from refined grain and whole grain flour were investigated. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry/olfactometry (GC/MS/O) analysis reported 13 aroma compounds with a flavor dilution (FD) value ≥16. Quantitative analysis identified eight compounds as statistically different, [...] Read more.
Differences in the aroma profiles of extruded maize puffs made from refined grain and whole grain flour were investigated. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry/olfactometry (GC/MS/O) analysis reported 13 aroma compounds with a flavor dilution (FD) value ≥16. Quantitative analysis identified eight compounds as statistically different, of which seven compounds were higher in concentration in the whole grain sample. Sensory recombination and descriptive analysis further supported the analytical data, with higher mean aroma intensities for cooked, corn chip, roasted, and toasted attributes for the whole grain sample. Generally, the compounds responsible for perceived differences in whole grain maize extruded puffs were associated with increased levels of Maillard reaction products, such as 2-ethyl-3,5-dimethylpyrazine and 2-acetyl-2-thiazoline. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volatile Compounds and Smell Chemicals (Odor and Aroma) of Food)
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Article
Proteolytic Volatile Profile and Electrophoretic Analysis of Casein Composition in Milk and Cheese Derived from Mironutrient-Fed Cows
Molecules 2020, 25(9), 2249; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25092249 - 10 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 753
Abstract
The aim of the study was to evaluate the proteolytic process in Caciocavallo cheese obtained from Friesian cows fed zinc, selenium, and iodine supplementation. Thirty-six Friesian cows, balanced for parity, milk production, and days in milk, were randomly assigned to four groups. The [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to evaluate the proteolytic process in Caciocavallo cheese obtained from Friesian cows fed zinc, selenium, and iodine supplementation. Thirty-six Friesian cows, balanced for parity, milk production, and days in milk, were randomly assigned to four groups. The control group (CG) was fed with a conventional feeding strategy, while the three remaining groups received a diet enriched with three different trace elements, respectively zinc (ZG), selenium (SG), and iodine (IG). At the end of the experimental period, samples of milk were collected and used to produce Caciocavallo cheese from each experimental group. Cheese samples were then analyzed after 7 and 120 days from the cheese making in order to obtain information on chemical composition and extent of the proteolytic process, evaluated through the electrophoretic analysis of caseins and the determination of volatiles profile. Both milk and cheese samples were richer in the amount of the microelement respectively used for the integration of the cattle’s diet. The zymographic approach was helpful in evaluating, in milk, the proteolytic function performed by endogenous metalloenzymes specifically able to degrade gelatin and casein; this evaluation did not highlight significant differences among the analyzed samples. In cheese, the electrophoretic analysis in reducing and denaturing condition showed the marked ability of β-casein to resist the proteolytic action during ripening, whereas the dietary selenium supplementation was shown to perform a protective action against the degradation of S1 and S2 isoforms of α-casein. The analysis of the volatile profile evidenced the presence of compounds associated with proteolysis of phenylalanine and leucine. This approach showed that selenium was able to negatively influence the biochemical processes that lead to the formation of 3-methyl butanol, although the identification of the specific mechanism needs further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volatile Compounds and Smell Chemicals (Odor and Aroma) of Food)
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Article
Influence of Different Modalities of Grape Withering on Volatile Compounds of Young and Aged Corvina Wines
Molecules 2020, 25(9), 2141; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25092141 - 03 May 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 926
Abstract
Withering is a practice traditionally used in various regions to produce sweet or dry wines. During withering there is an increase in sugar content but also a modification in volatile compound profiles. Controlling metabolic changes through the dehydration process to obtain wines with [...] Read more.
Withering is a practice traditionally used in various regions to produce sweet or dry wines. During withering there is an increase in sugar content but also a modification in volatile compound profiles. Controlling metabolic changes through the dehydration process to obtain wines with desired characteristics is therefore a challenging opportunity. The effects of two different withering technologies, post-harvest or on-vine with blocked sap vessel flow, on the volatile profile of young and aged Corvina red wines was investigated. The results showed that modulation of wine aroma due to the withering process is associated with fermentative metabolites, such as esters, higher alcohols, and acids, as well as grape-related compounds such as C6 alcohols, terpenes and norisoprenoids. Significant differences were also found by comparing the two withering techniques. Post-harvest in a traditional “fruttaio” warehouse wines showed higher content of ethyl acetate, ethyl butanoate, β-citronellol and 3-oxo-α-ionol, whereas post-harvest withering on-vine increased β-damascenone in wines. The type of withering technique has an influence on the evolution of some aroma compounds during the aging of wine, among them linalool, (E)-1-(2,3,6-trimethylphenyl)buta-1,3-diene (TPB), n-hexyl acetate, ethyl acetate, ethyl 3-methylbutanoate, 3-oxo-α-ionol and β-damascenone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volatile Compounds and Smell Chemicals (Odor and Aroma) of Food)
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Article
Biophenolic Compounds Influence the In-Mouth Perceived Intensity of Virgin Olive Oil Flavours and Off-Flavours
Molecules 2020, 25(8), 1969; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25081969 - 23 Apr 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 876
Abstract
In this study, the influence of phenolic compounds on the sensory scores attributed to extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) by panel test was investigated. Two model olive oils (MOOs) with identical concentrations of volatile compounds, differing only in the amount of biophenols (297 [...] Read more.
In this study, the influence of phenolic compounds on the sensory scores attributed to extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) by panel test was investigated. Two model olive oils (MOOs) with identical concentrations of volatile compounds, differing only in the amount of biophenols (297 vs. 511 mg kg−1), were analysed by two official panels and by SPME-GC/MS. Six other MOOs set up by the two previous models were also tested and analysed. They were formulated separately with the addition of three off-flavours (‘rancid’, ‘winey–vinegary’ and ‘fusty–muddy’). While high levels of EVOO phenolic compounds did not produce any effect on the headspace concentration of volatile compounds, they did affect the scores of both positive and negative sensory attributes of EVOO, due to the well-known in-mouth interactions between EVOO phenols, saliva and volatile compounds. In particular, a decrease of about 39% in the positive fruity score was found in the presence of a higher concentration of phenols. Regarding EVOO off-flavours, the higher level of phenolic compounds decreased by about 23% the score of ‘fusty–muddy’ defect and increased the score of ‘winey–vinegary’ defect about 733%. No important effect of EVOO phenolics on the perceived intensity of the ‘rancid’ defect was found. These findings could be helpful in explaining some discrepancies of panel test responses observed during extra virgin olive oil shelf life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volatile Compounds and Smell Chemicals (Odor and Aroma) of Food)
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Article
Volatile Profile of Mead Fermenting Blossom Honey and Honeydew Honey with or without Ribes nigrum
Molecules 2020, 25(8), 1818; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25081818 - 15 Apr 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1321
Abstract
Mead is a not very diffused alcoholic beverage and is obtained by fermentation of honey and water. Despite its very long tradition, little information is available on the relation between the ingredient used during fermentation and the aromatic characteristics of the fermented beverage [...] Read more.
Mead is a not very diffused alcoholic beverage and is obtained by fermentation of honey and water. Despite its very long tradition, little information is available on the relation between the ingredient used during fermentation and the aromatic characteristics of the fermented beverage outcome. In order to provide further information, multi-floral blossom honey and a forest honeydew honey with and without the addition of black currant during fermentation were used to prepare four different honey wines to be compared for their volatile organic compound content. Fermentation was monitored, and the total phenolic content (Folin–Ciocalteu), volatile organic compounds (HS-SPME-GC-MS), together with a sensory evaluation on the overall quality (44 nontrained panelists) were measured for all products at the end of fermentation. A higher total phenolic content resulted in honeydew honey meads, as well as the correspondent honey wine prepared with black currant. A total of 46 volatile organic compounds for pre-fermentation samples and 62 for post-fermentation samples were identified belonging to higher alcohols, organic acids, esters, and terpenes. The sensory analysis showed that the difference in meads made from blossom honey and honeydew honey was perceptible by the panelists with a general greater appreciation for the traditional blossom honey mead. These results demonstrated the influences of different components in meads, in particular, the influence of honey quality. However, further studies are needed to establish the relationship between the chemical profile and mead flavor perception. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volatile Compounds and Smell Chemicals (Odor and Aroma) of Food)
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Article
Key Aroma Compounds of Dark Chocolates Differing in Organoleptic Properties: A GC-O Comparative Study
Molecules 2020, 25(8), 1809; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25081809 - 15 Apr 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1316
Abstract
Dark chocolate samples were previously classified into four sensory categories. The classification was modelled based on volatile compounds analyzed by direct introduction mass spectrometry of the chocolates’ headspace. The purpose of the study was to identify the most discriminant odor-active compounds that should [...] Read more.
Dark chocolate samples were previously classified into four sensory categories. The classification was modelled based on volatile compounds analyzed by direct introduction mass spectrometry of the chocolates’ headspace. The purpose of the study was to identify the most discriminant odor-active compounds that should characterize the four sensory categories. To address the problem, a gas chromatography-olfactometry (GC-O) study was conducted by 12 assessors using a comparative detection frequency analysis (cDFA) approach on 12 exemplary samples. A nasal impact frequency (NIF) difference threshold combined with a statistical approach (Khi² test on k proportions) revealed 38 discriminative key odorants able to differentiate the samples and to characterize the sensory categories. A heatmap emphasized the 19 most discriminant key odorants, among which heterocyclic molecules (furanones, pyranones, lactones, one pyrrole, and one pyrazine) played a prominent role with secondary alcohols, acids, and esters. The initial sensory classes were retrieved using the discriminant key volatiles in a correspondence analysis (CA) and a hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA). Among the 38 discriminant key odorants, although previously identified in cocoa products, 21 were formally described for the first time as key aroma compounds of dark chocolate. Moreover, 13 key odorants were described for the first time in a cocoa product. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volatile Compounds and Smell Chemicals (Odor and Aroma) of Food)
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Article
Tracking Sensory Characteristics of Virgin Olive Oils During Storage: Interpretation of Their Changes from a Multiparametric Perspective
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1686; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071686 - 07 Apr 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 830
Abstract
Virgin olive oil is inevitably subject to an oxidation process during storage that can affect its stability and quality due to off-flavors that develop before the oil surpasses its ‘best before’ date. Many parameters are involved in the oxidation process at moderate conditions. [...] Read more.
Virgin olive oil is inevitably subject to an oxidation process during storage that can affect its stability and quality due to off-flavors that develop before the oil surpasses its ‘best before’ date. Many parameters are involved in the oxidation process at moderate conditions. Therefore, a multiparametric study is necessary to establish a link between physico-chemical changes and sensory quality degradation in a real storage experiment. In this context, a storage experiment of 27 months was performed for four monovarietal virgin olive oils, bottled in transparent 500-mL PET bottles and subjected to conditions close to a supermarket scenario. Volatile composition, quality parameters and phenolic compounds were determined monthly. Simultaneously, an accredited sensory panel assessed their sensory characteristics. The stability of the fresh samples was also studied with the oxidative stability index (OSI) and mesh cell-FTIR. (E)-2-hexenal, (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol and (E)-2-hexen-1-ol were identified as markers of the fruity attribute. Hexanal and nonanal were also identified as compounds that were associated with the rise of median of defect during storage. Some disagreements were observed between the sensory assessment and the OSI analyzed by Rancimat. However, the increase of concentration of rancid markers agreed with the increase of aldehyde band measured with mesh cell-FTIR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volatile Compounds and Smell Chemicals (Odor and Aroma) of Food)
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Article
Unveiling the Molecular Basis of Mascarpone Cheese Aroma: VOCs analysis by SPME-GC/MS and PTR-ToF-MS
Molecules 2020, 25(5), 1242; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25051242 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1726
Abstract
Mascarpone, a soft-spread cheese, is an unripened dairy product manufactured by the thermal-acidic coagulation of milk cream. Due to the mild flavor and creamy consistency, it is a base ingredient in industrial, culinary, and homemade preparations (e.g., it is a key constituent of [...] Read more.
Mascarpone, a soft-spread cheese, is an unripened dairy product manufactured by the thermal-acidic coagulation of milk cream. Due to the mild flavor and creamy consistency, it is a base ingredient in industrial, culinary, and homemade preparations (e.g., it is a key constituent of a widely appreciated Italian dessert ‘Tiramisù’). Probably due to this relevance as an ingredient rather than as directly consumed foodstuff, mascarpone has not been often the subject of detailed studies. To the best of our knowledge, no investigation has been carried out on the volatile compounds contributing to the mascarpone cheese aroma profile. In this study, we analyzed the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in the headspace of different commercial mascarpone cheeses by two different techniques: Headspace-Solid Phase Microextraction-Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (HS-SPME GC-MS) and Proton-Transfer Reaction-Mass Spectrometry coupled to a Time of Flight mass analyzer (PTR-ToF-MS). We coupled these two approaches due to the complementarity of the analytical potential—efficient separation and identification of the analytes on the one side (HS-SPME GC-MS), and effective, fast quantitative analysis without any sample preparation on the other (PTR-ToF-MS). A total of 27 VOCs belonging to different chemical classes (9 ketones, 5 alcohols, 4 organic acids, 3 hydrocarbons, 2 furans, 1 ester, 1 lactone, 1 aldehyde, and 1 oxime) have been identified by HS-SPME GC-MS, while PTR-ToF-MS allowed a rapid snapshot of volatile diversity confirming the aptitude to rapid noninvasive quality control and the potential in commercial sample differentiation. Ketones (2-heptanone and 2-pentanone, in particular) are the most abundant compounds in mascarpone headspace, followed by 2-propanone, 2-nonanone, 2-butanone, 1-pentanol, 2-ethyl-1-hexanol, furfural and 2-furanmethanol. The study also provides preliminary information on the differentiation of the aroma of different brands and product types. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volatile Compounds and Smell Chemicals (Odor and Aroma) of Food)
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Article
Validation of a LLME/GC-MS Methodology for Quantification of Volatile Compounds in Fermented Beverages
Molecules 2020, 25(3), 621; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25030621 - 31 Jan 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1059
Abstract
Knowledge of composition of beverages volatile fraction is essential for understanding their sensory attributes. Analysis of volatile compounds predominantly resorts to gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Often a previous concentration step is required to quantify compounds found at low concentrations. This [...] Read more.
Knowledge of composition of beverages volatile fraction is essential for understanding their sensory attributes. Analysis of volatile compounds predominantly resorts to gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Often a previous concentration step is required to quantify compounds found at low concentrations. This work presents a liquid-liquid microextraction method combined with GC-MS (LLME/GC-MS) for the analysis of compounds in fermented beverages and spirits. The method was validated for a set of compounds typically found in fermented beverages comprising alcohols, esters, volatile phenols, and monoterpenic alcohols. The key requirements for validity were observed, namely linearity, sensitivity in the studied range, accuracy, and precision within the required parameters. Robustness of the method was also evaluated with satisfactory results. Thus, the proposed LLME/GC-MS method may be a useful tool for the analysis of several fermented beverages, which is easily implementable in a laboratory equipped with a GC-MS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volatile Compounds and Smell Chemicals (Odor and Aroma) of Food)
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Article
Impact of Drying Method on the Evaluation of Fatty Acids and Their Derived Volatile Compounds in ‘Thompson Seedless’ Raisins
Molecules 2020, 25(3), 608; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25030608 - 30 Jan 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 889
Abstract
Air- and sun-dried raisins from Thompson Seedless (TS) grapes were analyzed under GC/MS to evaluate fatty acids (FAs) and their derived volatile compounds, coming from unsaturated fatty acids oxidation. A total of 16 FAs were identified in TS raisins, including 10 saturated fatty [...] Read more.
Air- and sun-dried raisins from Thompson Seedless (TS) grapes were analyzed under GC/MS to evaluate fatty acids (FAs) and their derived volatile compounds, coming from unsaturated fatty acids oxidation. A total of 16 FAs were identified in TS raisins, including 10 saturated fatty acids (SFAs) and 6 unsaturated fatty acids (USFAs). The contents of C18:0, C15:0, and C16:0 among SFAs and C18:3, C18:2 and C18:1 in USFAs were significantly higher. Furthermore, USFAs such as C16:1 and C20:1 were only identified in air-dried raisins. The principal component analysis showed the increased content of FAs and FA-derived compounds were in air-dried and sun-dried raisins, respectively. Among FA-derived compounds, 2-pentyl furan, 3-octen-2-one, 1-hexanol and heptanoic acid were more potent. This study shows that air-drying is more favorable for the production of fatty acids (SFAs and USFAs), whereas sun-drying is more advantageous in terms of fatty acid-derived volatiles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volatile Compounds and Smell Chemicals (Odor and Aroma) of Food)
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Article
HS-SPME-MS-Enose Coupled with Chemometrics as an Analytical Decision Maker to Predict In-Cup Coffee Sensory Quality in Routine Controls: Possibilities and Limits
Molecules 2019, 24(24), 4515; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24244515 - 10 Dec 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1093
Abstract
The quality assessment of the green coffee that you will go to buy cannot be disregarded from a sensory evaluation, although this practice is time consuming and requires a trained professional panel. This study aims to investigate both the potential and the limits [...] Read more.
The quality assessment of the green coffee that you will go to buy cannot be disregarded from a sensory evaluation, although this practice is time consuming and requires a trained professional panel. This study aims to investigate both the potential and the limits of the direct headspace solid phase microextraction, mass spectrometry electronic nose technique (HS-SPME-MS or MS-EN) combined with chemometrics for use as an objective, diagnostic and high-throughput technique to be used as an analytical decision maker to predict the in-cup coffee sensory quality of incoming raw beans. The challenge of this study lies in the ability of the analytical approach to predict the sensory qualities of very different coffee types, as is usual in industry for the qualification and selection of incoming coffees. Coffees have been analysed using HS-SPME-MS and sensory analyses. The mass spectral fingerprints (MS-EN data) obtained were elaborated using: (i) unsupervised principal component analysis (PCA); (ii) supervised partial least square discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) to select the ions that are most related to the sensory notes investigated; and (iii) cross-validated partial least square regression (PLS), to predict the sensory attribute in new samples. The regression models were built with a training set of 150 coffee samples and an external test set of 34. The most reliable results were obtained with acid, bitter, spicy and aromatic intensity attributes. The mean error in the sensory-score predictions on the test set with the available data always fell within a limit of ±2. The results show that the combination of HS-SPME-MS fingerprints and chemometrics is an effective approach that can be used as a Total Analysis System (TAS) for the high-throughput definition of in-cup coffee sensory quality. Limitations in the method are found in the compromises that are accepted when applying a screening method, as opposed to human evaluation, in the sensory assessment of incoming raw material. The cost-benefit relationship of this and other screening instrumental approaches must be considered and weighed against the advantages of the potency of human response which could thus be better exploited in modulating blends for sensory experiences outside routine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volatile Compounds and Smell Chemicals (Odor and Aroma) of Food)
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Article
Investigating the Effect of Artificial Flavours and External Information on Consumer Liking of Apples
Molecules 2019, 24(23), 4306; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24234306 - 26 Nov 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1008
Abstract
In this paper, the influence of flavour modification, artificially induced, on consumer acceptability of apple fruit is studied. The method consists of modifying the flavour of a real food matrix dipping apples into flavour solutions. Two flavouring compounds (linalool and anethole) that were [...] Read more.
In this paper, the influence of flavour modification, artificially induced, on consumer acceptability of apple fruit is studied. The method consists of modifying the flavour of a real food matrix dipping apples into flavour solutions. Two flavouring compounds (linalool and anethole) that were responsible of “floral” and “anise” aroma descriptors, respectively, were considered here. The effectiveness of flavouring treatments was confirmed by instrumental analysis of volatile compounds profile using solid-phase microextraction gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (SPME/GC-MS) and by discriminative and descriptive sensory analyses. The effect of flavour-impact was evaluated in an informed test on the two flavoured ‘Fuji’ apples: the consumers were asked to evaluate the global liking of the treated and non-treated apples with information regarding the aromatic features. Participants’ additional data on the characteristics on their “ideal apple”, attitudes toward natural food, food neophobia, and demographic data were also recorded by specific questionnaires. A statistically significant effect on liking was found for the flavour factor, whereas external information only affected apple acceptance for subgroups of consumers, depending on their attitude towards food. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volatile Compounds and Smell Chemicals (Odor and Aroma) of Food)
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Article
Characterization of Volatile Component Changes in Jujube Fruits during Cold Storage by Using Headspace-Gas Chromatography-Ion Mobility Spectrometry
Molecules 2019, 24(21), 3904; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24213904 - 30 Oct 2019
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 1343
Abstract
Volatile components in jujube fruits from Zizyphus jujuba Mill. cv. Dongzao (DZ) and Zizyphus jujuba Mill. cv. Jinsixiaozao (JS) were analyzed under different cold storage periods via headspace-gas chromatography-ion mobility spectrometry (HS-GC-IMS). Results identified 53 peaks that corresponded to 47 compounds [...] Read more.
Volatile components in jujube fruits from Zizyphus jujuba Mill. cv. Dongzao (DZ) and Zizyphus jujuba Mill. cv. Jinsixiaozao (JS) were analyzed under different cold storage periods via headspace-gas chromatography-ion mobility spectrometry (HS-GC-IMS). Results identified 53 peaks that corresponded to 47 compounds and were mostly alcohols, aldehydes, esters, and ketones. Differences in the volatile components of jujube fruits were revealed in topographic plots and fingerprints. For DZ, 3-pentanone was the characteristic component of fresh fruits. After storage for 15 days, dipropyl disulfide became the most special substance. Moreover, when stored for 30 and 45 days, the fruits had some same volatile components, like 2-pentyl furan and diallyl sulfide. However, for DZ stored for 60 days, esters were the prominent constituent of the volatile components, simultaneously, some new alcohols appeared. For JS, 2-ethyl furan was the representative of fresh fruits, and 2-butoxyethanol content was the most abundant after 15 and 30 days of storage. Different from that in DZ, the content of ester in JS increased after storage for 45 days. Substances such as amyl acetate dimer, methyl salicylate, and linalool greatly contributed to the jujube flavor during the late storage period. Principal component analysis (PCA) showed that fresh samples and refrigerated fruits were effectively distinguished. Heat map clustering analysis displayed the similarity of volatile components in different samples and was in accordance with PCA results. Hence, the volatile components of jujube fruits can be readily identified via HS-GC-IMS, and jujube fruits can be classified at different periods based on the difference of volatile components. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volatile Compounds and Smell Chemicals (Odor and Aroma) of Food)
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Article
Fresh and Aromatic Virgin Olive Oil Obtained from Arbequina, Koroneiki, and Arbosana Cultivars
Molecules 2019, 24(19), 3587; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24193587 - 05 Oct 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1156
Abstract
Three factors for the extraction of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) were evaluated: diameter of the grid holes of the hammer-crusher, malaxation temperature, and malaxation time. A Box–Behnken design was used to obtain a total of 289 olive oil samples. Twelve responses were [...] Read more.
Three factors for the extraction of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) were evaluated: diameter of the grid holes of the hammer-crusher, malaxation temperature, and malaxation time. A Box–Behnken design was used to obtain a total of 289 olive oil samples. Twelve responses were analyzed and 204 mathematical models were obtained. Olives from super-intensive rainfed or irrigated crops of the Arbequina, Koroneiki, and Arbosana cultivars at different stages of ripening were used. Malaxation temperature was found to be the factor with the most influence on the total content of lipoxygenase pathway volatile compounds; as the temperature increased, the content of volatile compounds decreased. On the contrary, pigments increased when the malaxation temperature was increased. EVOO from irrigated crops and from the Arbequina cultivar had the highest content of volatile compounds. Olive samples with a lower ripening degree, from the Koroneiki cultivar and from rainfed crops, had the highest content of pigments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volatile Compounds and Smell Chemicals (Odor and Aroma) of Food)
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Article
Effects of Ethanol Concentration on Oral Aroma Release After Wine Consumption
Molecules 2019, 24(18), 3253; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24183253 - 06 Sep 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1315
Abstract
This paper evaluates, for the first time, the effects of ethanol concentration on the dynamics of oral (immediate and prolonged) aroma release after wine consumption. To do this, the intraoral aroma release of 10 panelists was monitored at two sampling points (0 and [...] Read more.
This paper evaluates, for the first time, the effects of ethanol concentration on the dynamics of oral (immediate and prolonged) aroma release after wine consumption. To do this, the intraoral aroma release of 10 panelists was monitored at two sampling points (0 and 4 min) after they rinsed their mouths with three rosé wines with different ethanol content (0.5% v/v, 5% v/v and 10% v/v) that were aromatized with six fruity esters (ethyl butanoate, isoamyl acetate, ethyl pentanoate, ethyl hexanoate, ethyl octanoate and ethyl decanoate). Overall, the results indicated that the extent of the effects of ethanol content on the oral aroma release were influenced by the subject, the ethanolconcentration and the type of aroma compound. This effect was also different in the immediate than in the prolonged aroma release. In the first in-mouth aroma monitoring, an increase in the ethanol content provoked a higher release of the more polar and volatile esters (ethyl butanoate, ethyl pentanoate), but a lower release for the more apolar and less volatile esters (ethyl octanoate, ethyl decanoate). Regarding the prolonged oral aroma release, an increase of ethanol content in wine increased the oral aroma release of the six esters, which might also increase the fruity aroma persistence in the wines. Future works with a higher number of individuals will be needed to understand the mechanisms behind this phenomenon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volatile Compounds and Smell Chemicals (Odor and Aroma) of Food)
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Review

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Review
Flavor and Texture Characteristics of ‘Fuji’ and Related Apple (Malus domestica L.) Cultivars, Focusing on the Rich Watercore
Molecules 2020, 25(5), 1114; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25051114 - 02 Mar 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1424
Abstract
Watercore is a so-called physiological disorder of apple (Malus domestica L.) that commonly occurs in several well-known cultivars. It is associated with a rapid softening of the flesh that causes a marked changed in flavor and texture. In Asia, apples with watercore [...] Read more.
Watercore is a so-called physiological disorder of apple (Malus domestica L.) that commonly occurs in several well-known cultivars. It is associated with a rapid softening of the flesh that causes a marked changed in flavor and texture. In Asia, apples with watercore are preferred and considered a delicacy because of their enhanced sweet flavor. The ‘Fuji’ cultivar, the first cultivar with rich watercore that is free from texture deterioration, has played a key role in the development of the market for desirable watercored apples. This review aimed to summarize and highlight recent studies related to the physiology of watercore in apples with special focus on ‘Fuji’ and related cultivars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volatile Compounds and Smell Chemicals (Odor and Aroma) of Food)
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Review
Volatile Flavor Compounds in Cheese as Affected by Ruminant Diet
Molecules 2020, 25(3), 461; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25030461 - 22 Jan 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1229
Abstract
Extensive research has been conducted concerning the determination and characterization of volatile compounds contributing to aroma and flavor in cheese. Considerable knowledge has been accumulated on the understanding of the mechanisms through which these compounds are formed during ripening, as well as on [...] Read more.
Extensive research has been conducted concerning the determination and characterization of volatile compounds contributing to aroma and flavor in cheese. Considerable knowledge has been accumulated on the understanding of the mechanisms through which these compounds are formed during ripening, as well as on the optimization of the methodological approaches which lead to their detection. More recently, particular attention has been given to the aromatic properties of milk and cheeses obtained from lactating dairy ruminants fed experimental diets, characterized, for instance, by the addition of trace elements, natural supplements, or agricultural by-products rich in bioactive compounds. The purpose of this review is to summarize the major families of volatile compounds most commonly found in these types of dairy products at various ripening stages, describing in greater detail the role of animal diet in influencing the synthesis mechanisms most commonly responsible for cheese flavor determination. A large number of volatile compounds, including carboxylic acids, lactones, ketones, alcohols, and aldehydes, can be detected in cheese. The relative percentage of each compound depends on the biochemical processes that occur during ripening, and these are mainly mediated by endogenous enzymes and factors of bacterial origin whose function can be strongly influenced by the bioactive compounds taken by animals with the diet and released in milk through the mammary gland. Further evaluations on the interactions between volatile compounds and cheese matrix would be necessary in order to improve the knowledge on the synthesis mechanisms of such compounds; in addition to this, more should be done with respect to the determination of synergistic effects of flavor compounds, correlating such compounds to the aroma of dairy products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volatile Compounds and Smell Chemicals (Odor and Aroma) of Food)
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