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Special Issue "Featured Papers on Bioactive Flavour and Fragrance Compounds 2023"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Flavours and Fragrances".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2023 | Viewed by 868

Special Issue Editors

Chemistry Interdisciplinary Project (CHIP), School of Pharmacy, University of Camerino, Via Madonna delle Carceri, 62032 Camerino, Italy
Interests: medicinal chemistry; small-molecules; essential oils; naturally-occurring compounds; NAD-dependent enzymes; plant secondary metabolites; bioactive-active fractionation; phytochemicals; ethnopharmacology; biological activity of natural compounds
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Pharmacy, University Federico II of Naples, Via D. Montesano 49, 80131 Naples, Italy
Interests: food safety and food quality; metabolomics; food chemistry; chromatography; mass-spectrometry; nutraceuticals; novel foods; methods of extraction
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The plant secondary metabolism relies on thousands of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which play important roles in plant physiology and defense systems. They are synthesized in the cell plastid and cytosol by specific enzymes and chemically characterized as terpenoids and aromatic and aliphatic compounds. VOCs are obtainable under a liquid, hydrophobic form named “essential oil”, through the classical techniques of steam- and hydrodistillation and cold pressing, although unconventional extraction techniques have also recently been used. In addition to affecting the sensory qualities of foods, cosmetics, and perfumes, VOCs are currently considered important mediators of biological activities. The fragrance industry produces hundreds of thousands of tons of essential oils every year, which are designed for perfume manufacturing. However, they have shown an interesting potential of use in other sectors, such as food, agriculture, and pharmaceutics. Nevertheless, only a small part of them is devoted to replacing the use of currently marketed pesticides and to supporting agriculture in facing environmental challenges.

As a result of the worldwide population growth (which is expected to rise from 7.5 to 10 billion by 2050), the FAO recently released a document where they forewarn that a significant increase in agriculture production would be recommended to meet the future demand for food. The yield of grain crops has already reached a “plateau”, and the indiscriminate use of synthetic pesticides has caused serious problems with environmental pollution and food safety. In addition, global warming will be responsible for progressive exposure of soils to degradation and loss of fertility and will play an important role in the spread of plant pathogens responsible for frequent epidemics. In this scenario, VOCs represent a natural, ecosustainable, ecofriendly strategy to enhance future smart agriculture while preserving the environment, natural resources, and human health. However, the high costs associated with scalability, formulation, and marketing may represent their limit, which may affect the initial investments. On the other hand, restrictive legislation on the use of chemical pesticides and the current increasing attention of the food and agrochemical industries on sustainable and ecofriendly solutions could attract significant investments, thus making VOCs more appealing.

On this basis, this Special Issue is designed to gather review and original papers review papers dealing with the potential of VOCs in agriculture, food, and pharmaceutical applications through the study of their extraction and characterization, evaluation of their biological properties, and development of targeted delivery systems (e.g., micro and nanoemulsions).

Dr. Riccardo Petrelli
Prof. Dr. Domenico Montesano
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 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.


  • essential oils
  • agriculture
  • food
  • formulations
  • crop protection
  • insecticides
  • extraction techniques
  • chemical characterization
  • biological activity

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Published Papers (1 paper)

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24 pages, 2458 KiB  
Analysis of Volatile Compounds in Processed Cream Cheese Models for the Prediction of “Fresh Cream” Aroma Perception
Molecules 2023, 28(20), 7224; - 23 Oct 2023
Viewed by 619
Controlling flavor perception by analyzing volatile and taste compounds is a key challenge for food industries, as flavor is the result of a complex mix of components. Machine-learning methodologies are already used to predict odor perception, but they are used to a lesser [...] Read more.
Controlling flavor perception by analyzing volatile and taste compounds is a key challenge for food industries, as flavor is the result of a complex mix of components. Machine-learning methodologies are already used to predict odor perception, but they are used to a lesser extent to predict aroma perception. The objectives of this work were, for the processed cream cheese models studied, to (1) analyze the impact of the composition and process on the sensory perception and VOC release and (2) predict “fresh cream” aroma perception from the VOC characteristics. Sixteen processed cream cheese models were produced according to a three-factor experimental design: the texturing agent type (κ-carrageenan, agar-agar) and level and the heating time. A R-A-T-A test on 59 consumers was carried out to describe the sensory perception of the cheese models. VOC release from the cheese model boli during swallowing was investigated with an in vitro masticator (Oniris device patent), followed by HS-SPME-GC-(ToF)MS analysis. Regression trees and random forests were used to predict “fresh cream” aroma perception, i.e., one of the main drivers of liking of processed cheeses, from the VOC release during swallowing. Agar-agar cheese models were perceived as having a “milk” odor and favored the release of a greater number of VOCs; κ-carrageenan samples were perceived as having a “granular” and “brittle” texture and a “salty” and “sour” taste and displayed a VOC retention capacity. Heating induced firmer cheese models and promoted Maillard VOCs responsible for “cooked” and “chemical” aroma perceptions. Octa-3,5-dien-2-one and octane-2,3-dione were the two main VOCs that contributed positively to the “fresh cream” aroma perception. Thus, regression trees and random forests are powerful statistical tools to provide a first insight into predicting the aroma of cheese models based on VOC characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Featured Papers on Bioactive Flavour and Fragrance Compounds 2023)
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