Aroma Analysis – because olfaction is the most powerful sense
A main research area of the Food Chemistry research group
Aroma, as the most important driver for sensory perception, is a decisive quality criterion for food. It is responsible for its acceptance and popularity with consumers. For this reason, we use molecular-sensory analysis methods to investigate the formation of both desirable and undesirable aroma-active compounds and their precursors. This also includes foods that are produced with novel food processing methods as well as from new raw materials along the entire value chain.
In addition, we investigate how the influence of origin, variety, and agronomic conditions can affect the sensory profile of foods and food raw materials at the molecular level, with the further aim of promoting the biodiversity of food raw materials
Methods of analysis
- Isolation of key flavour compounds from different matrices using Solvent Assisted Flavor Evaporation (SAFE), Solid Phase Micro Extraction (SPME) and Twister®.
- One- and two-dimensional gas chromatographic separation of key aroma compounds using different sample injection techniques such as On-column, Split/Splitless and Thermal Desorption and subsequent detection via mass spectrometry (GC-MS), flame ionisation detection (GC-FID) and olfactometric detection (GC-O).
- Quantification of key flavour compounds down to the low ppb range using stable isotope dilution analyses (2H and 13C labelled internal standards).
With our analytical approach, we decode flavour profiles of different foods at the molecular level. By combining instrumental and sensory analytical techniques, we can characterise the specific compounds that are crucial for the flavour of a food product.
Examples of student works:
- BA Ramona Staub: Aroma & taste characteristics of fermented meat substitutes based on pea protein, (BSc Booklet 2022(PDF 7,7 MB), pg. 54)
- BA Ivanna Salvatore: Aroma composition of vanilla beans - an authenticity criterion of origin? (BSc Booklet 2022(PDF 7,7 MB), pg. 52)
- BA Giorgia De Lorenzi: Aroma properties of selected fruits and vegetables before and after ozonization,(BSc Booklet 2021(PDF 8,5 MB), pg 23 and News on award for BSc thesis(PDF 142,4 KB))