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Perception of cheese aromas: The case of 2-nonanone.

C. C. Licon



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Perception of cheese aromas: The case of 2-nonanone.
C. C. Licon*1,2, H. Razafindrazaka3, D. Pierron4, M. Bensafi2. 1Department of Food Science and Nutrition, California State University Fresno, CA, 2Lyon Neuroscience Research Center, CNRS UMR5292, INSERM U1028, Universit� Claude Bernard Lyon 1 Lyon, France, 3Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, Universit� Toulouse 1 Capitole Toulouse, France, 4Paul Sabatier University-Toulouse III Toulouse, France.

Olfaction is one of the key aspects that drive food enjoyment and preference; cheese is not an exception, its quality is defined by its flavor and aroma compounds. It is known that all cheeses share almost the same aromatic compounds: alcohols, aldehydes, or ketones, among others, but only a few aromas are responsible for cheese odor perception. Thus, it is of interest to investigate the perception of some of the major compounds in cheese. A good example is 2-nonanone, a methyl-ketone produced in Gorgonzola, ripened Ragusano, Camembert, and Brie due to enzymatic activity of molds (Penicillium camemberti, P. roqueforti or G. candidum). From a sensory perspective, this molecule has been commonly associated with malty and fruity notes but also as cheesy and pungent, having a dual perceptual nature. The objective of this work was to study the perception of 2-nonanone by studying its aromatic threshold and description. Eighty-seven participants were tested in 2017, with ages between 19 and 25 years old (mean 21 � 1.4), 23 males and 64 females. The threshold of 2-nonanone was calculated using the best estimate threshold (BET) method using 5 ascending concentrations (0.1 ppb, 1 ppb, 0.01 ppm, 0.1 ppm, 1 ppm) with an alternative forced-choice task (using 4 flasks, 3 of them blank). We also asked the participants to rate the aroma (pleasantness, intensity, familiarity, edibility, irritation in a scale from 1 to 7 and aromatic description) at 0.1 ppm if they were able to detect it. The 2-nonanone was diluted in deodorized mineral oil and presented in a 15-mL flask (diameter 1.7 cm; height, 5.8 cm; filled with 5 mL of liquid). Results showed that the group BET for 2-nonanone in mineral oil was 14 ppb. We found that 13 participants (14.94%) were not able to identify any of the concentrations presented while 4 participants (4.6%) were able to identify all concentrations correctly. No significant correlations were found (P > 0.05) between the threshold and the perceptual attributes. The aroma was described as chemical, cheesy, fruity, floral and unpleasant. Further analysis is needed to determine if there is a correlation between the perception of this compound and cheese consumption.

Keywords: cheese aroma, perception, 2-nonanone.