Identifying key sensory-active flavour compounds in plant‑based tuna

Sensory Directed Analysis (SDA) using gas chromatography (GC-O/MS) identifies key sensory compounds in plant-based tuna, enabling manufacturers to replicate real tuna flavor in replacement products.


As health and climate awareness grows, consumers are increasingly turning towards plant-based foods over animal-based products and plant-based tuna is among the first seafood replacement products on the market. Manufacturers are facing the challenge of replicating the taste and texture of animal products in plant-based food products.

To reach the targeted aroma profile, some aroma compounds must be masked or removed, and others added. Sensory Directed Analysis (SDA) methods can be used to identify and compare key sensory‑active flavour compounds in plant-based tuna replacements with those in real tuna. SDA utilises gas chromatography (GC) in combination with simultaneous olfactory and mass spectral detection (GC-O/MS) to identify sensory‑active compounds. This combination enables detection of sensory-active regions of the chromatogram and identification of associated flavour compounds to determine those responsible for producing the desirable flavours in food products.



MPS LabWorks Platform, Dynamic Headspace (DHS) module, Olfactory Detection Port (ODP 4) (all from GERSTEL) and Agilent Technologies 8890/5977B GC/MSD fitted with Low Thermal Mass (LTM) column modules.