Application note: Sensory directed flavour analysis of Pea-Based Tuna

Adding olfactory detection of sensory-active compounds to GC-MS analysis provides crucial information when replicating flavours in plant-based foods

Plant-based tuna fish is among the first meat replacement products on the market. Manufacturers face the challenge of replicating taste and texture of animal products in plant-based foods. Sensory directed analysis (SDA) utilizes gas chromatography in combination with olfactory detection by the human nose and mass spectrometry to identify sensory-active flavour compounds. The use of olfactory and MS detection enables simultaneous determination

of sensory-active regions of the  chromatogram and mass spectral identification of the associated flavour compounds. As a result, SDA can be used to solve sensory-related challenges by determining the compounds responsible for producing desirable flavours

in food products. In this study, dynamic headspace (DHS) was used as an automated, solventless means of extracting analytes in combination with GC-O/MS. “Heart-cutting” GC was used to resolve components in the complex matrix. This, combined with an SDA approach, enabled the identification of key flavour compounds in real and plant-based tuna fish products.