Volatile Compounds in Food Systems: Consumer Perception, Biological Activity, and Novel Analytical Methods

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Quality and Safety".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2023) | Viewed by 1357

Special Issue Editors

Wine Research Center, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, The University of British Columbia, 2205 East Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
Interests: chromatography-mass spectrometry; metabolomics; analytical chemistry; bioactivity; flavor; consumer perception
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As consumers, we know that flavor, comprising aroma and taste, is one of the main traits determining food and beverage preferences. Specifically, aroma has been recognized to play a key role in food acceptance, as it is one of the first attributes perceived by the olfactory sense. Hundreds of volatile compounds compose food aroma, although only a small fraction contributes to consumer perception. These influential volatiles are referred to as “aroma-active” compounds, and their determination—together with aroma differentiators—is fundamental to improve flavor consistency and enhance consumer experiences. Some volatiles are naturally synthesized in raw food, such as terpenoids, aldehydes, and esters in fruits, but others are generated during food processing; fermentation results in specific volatiles from yeast metabolism, which participate in bread and wine aroma, while baking leads to Maillard volatiles with roasted notes such as pyrazines in cookies and coffee. Furthermore, some volatiles, particularly terpenoids, demonstrate biological benefits, including anticarcinogenic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiallergic activities; some of these properties could be beneficial for the food industry, such as antimicrobial effects against foodborne pathogens. Therefore, analyzing volatiles is essential, and the use of chromatography‒olfactometry/mass spectrometry or electronic sensing devices could complement sensory studies. The aim of this Special Issue is to gather research papers and review articles describing the influence of food volatiles in consumer preferences and health. Submissions dealing with the development of improved and novel analytical methods for determining volatiles are welcome.

Dr. Joana Pico
Dr. Maria Tufariello
Guest Editors

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  • volatile compounds
  • terpenoids
  • fermentation
  • baking
  • fruits and vegetable
  • processed food and beverages
  • consumer perception
  • bioactivity
  • chromatography‒mass spectrometry
  • electronic sensing devices

Published Papers (1 paper)

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18 pages, 2993 KiB  
Headspace Solid-Phase Microextraction/Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry and Chemometric Approach for the Study of Volatile Profile in X-ray Irradiated Surface-Ripened Cheeses
by Carmen Palermo, Annalisa Mentana, Michele Tomaiuolo, Maria Campaniello, Marco Iammarino, Diego Centonze and Rosalia Zianni
Foods 2024, 13(3), 416; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13030416 - 27 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1004
X-ray irradiation is an emerging non-thermal technology that is used as a preservation and sanitization technique to inactivate pathogens and spoilage organisms, increasing the shelf life of products. In this work, two different types of surface-ripened cheeses, Brie and Camembert, produced with cow [...] Read more.
X-ray irradiation is an emerging non-thermal technology that is used as a preservation and sanitization technique to inactivate pathogens and spoilage organisms, increasing the shelf life of products. In this work, two different types of surface-ripened cheeses, Brie and Camembert, produced with cow milk, were treated with X-rays at three dose levels, 2.0, 4.0 and 6.0 kGy, to evaluate the irradiation effects on the volatile profile using a volatolomic approach. The headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) technique combined with gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) was used to extract and analyze the volatile fraction from these dairy matrices. The HS-SPME method was optimized by a central composite design in combination with a desirability optimization methodology. The Carboxen/PDMS fiber, 50 °C for extraction temperature and 60 min for time extraction were found to be the best parameter settings and were applied for this investigation. The obtained fingerprints demonstrated that the irradiation-induced changes are dose dependent. The X-ray irradiation produced many new volatiles not found in the non-irradiated samples, but it also varied the amount of some volatiles already present in the control. Specifically, aldehydes and hydrocarbons increased with the irradiation dose, whereas alcohols, carboxylic acids, esters, methyl esters, ketones, lactones and sulfur-containing compounds showed a non-linear dependence on the dose levels; indeed, they increased up to 4.0 kGy, and then decreased slightly at 6.0 kGy. This trend, more evident in the Camembert profile, is probably due to the fact that these compounds are involved in different oxidation mechanisms of lipids and proteins, which were induced by the radiation treatment. In these oxidative chemical changes, the production and degradation processes of the volatiles are competitive, but at higher doses, the decomposition reactions exceed those of formation. A principal component analysis and partial least square discriminant analysis were used to discriminate between the treated and untreated samples. Moreover, this study allowed for the identification of potential markers of X-ray treatment for the two cheeses, confirming this approach as a useful tool for the control of irradiated surface-ripened cheeses. Full article
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