Flavor Release Evaluation Kit

Analyze texture and flavor during the same analysis

Shimadzu’s Flavor Release Evaluation Kit has been developed to evaluate the subjective texture of a food product, and simultaneously collect aromatic compounds that are released during chewing. Useful during the food development process, it can help provide an understanding of the perceived taste of food, which is related to both flavor and texture.

The human mouth is able to ascertain and describe food texture in terms of hardness, adhesiveness, cohesiveness, brittleness, elasticity, gumminess, and chewiness. At the same time, the flavors of food released during the chewing process are detected subjectively by the nose. Each discrete “chew” may release different types of aromatic flavors as well as different concentrations, depending on the type of food.

Flavor Release Evaluation Kit

Evaluation Method

Combining a GCMS with a texture analyzer, this tool seals the sample, the sample holder, and plunger in a dedicated sample bag. It performs the texture evaluation test in the sealed sample bag, and captures the released flavor and aroma compounds for subsequent analysis during the texture testing process.

Flavor-release features include:

  • Plunger, sample holder, and sample are sealed in a sample bag
  • The released flavors are not lost during texture testing
  • The sample bags have been pre-tested for odor analysis
  • The empty bags do not give off flavors or odors
  • The sample holder and plunger are passivated
  • Flavor and odors are not absorbed into the materials

Flavor Release Method

Flavor-release measurements can be made before and after each texture test. The amount and composition of the flavors and aromas released by each “chew”, or series of “chews”, can then be compared. The flavor compounds are collected by solid-phase micro-extraction (SPME). The SPME unit is then inserted into a heated injection port of a GCMS where the flavors are released and analyzed.

Application Example

In this application, an apple’s flavor and texture were evaluated simultaneously during the “chewing” process.

The results of flavor analysis of the apple by GCMS are shown in Figure 1. The gray chromatogram shows the flavor analysis before the texture test, and the red chromatogram is after the texture test. By comparing the gray and red chromatograms, it can be seen that some peaks increased in intensity (marked by green circles) whereas others remained the same. These indicate a release of flavors when destroying or “chewing” the apple sarcocarp during the texture test. The increased peaks were determined to be alcohols and esters by a mass spectrum library search.

The texture component the apple was tested for was brittleness. A mechanical characteristic curve of the apple is shown in Figure 2. During the texture test, five different “chews” of the apple were tested in different sampling positions, as indicated by the five peaks. The first peak expresses the texture characteristics. The chromatograms in Figure 1 show the cumulative aromas released during the five “chews”. Single and multi-system configurations are available to meet specific operational requirements.

It was found that apples release alcohols and esters. The flavor release evaluation kit can be used and an effective tool for food development.

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