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Aroma Compounds - Articles and news items

Whitepaper: Application of aroma release monitoring in real time as a powerful tool to understand consumer perception

Whitepapers  •  29 August 2015  •  RSSL

Aroma is one of the key determinants of flavour perception and therefore one of the main factors driving consumer preferences…

Natural flavour ingredients

Issue 1 2013  •  28 February 2013  •  Jane Parker, Flavour Centre, Reading University

The flavour of processed foods has changed significantly over the last 50 years. Think back to the days of the early stock cubes or the original powdered desserts which bore only a passing resemblance to the real flavour. Since then, the food industry has been involved in a continuous programme of flavour development, made possible by significant advances in chromatography and an increased understanding of the flavour chemistry involved. Flavour development was inspired in the 1970s and 1980s by increased foreign travel and a desire for the more exotic spices, but currently the major influence is the drive for healthy alternatives requiring reformulation of products to use less fat, less sugar and less salt. In addition, consumer pressure has led to the notion of ‘clean labels’, requiring retailers to remove MSG from products and use only natural or ‘store-cupboard’ ingredients.

Quality sentries: Some trends in chocolate manufacturing

Issue 6 2012  •  11 January 2013  •  Ramana Sundara, John Rasburn and Josélio Vieira, Nestlé Product Technology Centre

In-line control elements are an increasing development in the pursuit of efficient processes in a wide range of manufacturing sectors. Advances in sensor technology and computing power are now providing instruments which can greatly improve the efficiency and accuracy of manufacturing, and at a cost which is moderate in comparison with other costs, such as raw material prices and fuel costs. In the food sector, there are two clear incentives for pursuing in-line monitoring capabilities. Firstly, they raise the quality of the foods produced and secondly, they reduce the waste of valuable raw materials. Increasing commodity prices in regard to food ingredients give particular importance to this aspect.

Confectionery manufacture is a case in point. In chocolate confectionery, the quality of the product is paramount for ensuring an enjoyable eating experience for the consumer. Consumer preference tests are used to determine to what extent the target consumers like each sample and why (Figure 1). Careful processing and selection of ingredients are therefore necessary to produce desirable sensory attributes1 (Figure 1).

Unravelling chocolate aroma

Issue 4 2012  •  6 September 2012  •  Angela Ryan and Alison Hemesley, Nestlé Product Technology Centre

It’s been almost 500 years since Aztec Emperor Moctezuma reputedly introduced Hernando Cortéz to his favourite cocoa-based beverage Xocolatl, but our demand for cocoa and more recently chocolate has continued to grow ever since. Today, world cocoa production is estimated to be 3990 million metric tons and the major cocoa producing countries are Ivory Coast, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria, Cameroon and Brazil1.

A schematic of the chocolate manufacturing process is shown in Figure 1. The first stage, which is critical to the flavour of the final product, is fermentation, which triggers spontaneously on opening cocoa pods. This exposes the beans and surrounding mucilaginous pulp to attack by microorganisms initiating the formation of flavour compounds and precursors. Ethanol, acetic acid and lactic acids are formed, sucrose is hydrolysed to the reducing sugars glucose and fructose, proteins are degraded leading to an increase in the concentration of peptides and free amino acids and in addition, soluble poly – phenols, such as epicatechin, polymerise leading to a reduction in astringency2,3. However, if pods are harvested before the beans are sufficiently mature, the precursors cannot be formed and little flavour will develop during the later stages of processing2.


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