chapter  20
Aroma Compounds
Pages 30

Taste, odor (aroma), and texture cause an overall

sensation that is defined by the word ‘‘flavor.’’

Compounds interacting with the taste receptors pro-

vide only the sensations sour, sweet, bitter, salty, and

‘‘umami.’’ Aroma compounds (odorants), however,

stimulate much more qualities and therefore are mainly

responsible for the characteristic flavors of foods. The odor is caused by volatile compounds that are

detected by the receptor sites of the smell organ. The

odorants reach the receptors when drawn in through

the nose (nasal perception) and via the throat after

being released by chewing (retronasal perception). The

odor is an important factor that strongly affects the

acceptance of a food product by the consumer. For

this reason, the analysis of odorants is the basis for the

development of measures to improve food aroma

quality. Analysis of food aromas comprises the identification

of the volatiles contributing to the flavor. Furthermore,

methods that allow an accurate quantification of the

odorants are necessary to decide whether a volatile

compound surpasses its odor threshold concentration in

the food because this a prerequisite that it might belong

to the aroma impact compounds. Quantitative data

allow the preparation of a synthetic mixture of the

odorants. A comparison of its aroma with that of the

original indicates whether the analysis was successful.

Precise quantitative methods are also needed to study