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Advances in flavor research

: Steinhart, H.; Stephan, A.; Bücking, M.


HRC : Journal of high resolution chromatography 23 (2000), No.7/8, pp.489-496
ISSN: 0935-6304
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IUCT ( IME) ()
flavor; Odorant; Headspace; GC; interaction; electronic nose

In order to understand the flavor of foods a multitude of scientific investigations have been carried out and a number of analytical tools for flavor research developed in the last few decades. Initially, scientific investigations focused mainly on the identification of all compounds that could contribute to the flavor. Olfactory GC techniques permitted the division of identified volatiles into odor-active and non-odor-active. Many techniques were developed to enhance the quality and the information content of the flavor results. Since the early 1990s, analytical investigations have dealt with interactions between food matrices and flavor compounds and the human influence on the retardation of odorants. New analytical methods concentrate on the headspace of the sample by using static or dynamic headspace analysis, or deal with measurements of volatile release in the mouth by a novel nose sampler and oral vapor GC. These useful tools clarify the effects of breathing, chewing, and saliva flow on flavor release. Though the human nose performs well at low concentrations of odorants, it is a medium-term aim to replace the use of the human nose by analytical techniques. Future investigations will probably deal with the interactions of odorants and the human receptors and it is mainly these receptors that will play a key role in aroma research. By analysis of the effects of odorants on the receptors the mechanisms of odor perception will be elucidated. This will enable the development of supporting analytical tools like electronic noses that really do function as noses, or neural networks .