Andreas Dunkel (Leibniz-Institut LSB, left) and Christoph Hofstetter (TUM, right) have developed a new groundbreaking methodology for simultaneous food analysis (photo: TUM)
Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology have developed a new methodology for the simultaneous analysis of odorants and flavors. It could simplify and accelerate the quality control of food in the future.
In order to guarantee consistent sensory quality, it is very important for manufacturers to know and control the characteristic odour and taste profiles of their products from the raw material to the finished product. This requires precise and fast food analysis.
Flavouring and aroma substances, however, differ greatly in their chemical and physical properties. As a result, food chemists currently use very different methods to determine the exact nature and quantity of odours and flavours in a raw material or food. Especially analyses of flavouring substances are very time-consuming and therefore expensive. This limits the high-throughput analysis of numerous samples.
A methodical approach for two different substance classes
Thomas Hofmann, Director of the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology and Professor of Food Chemistry and Molecular Sensory Science at the Technical University of Munich, explains: "We have now developed a new, innovative method that will enable us to examine food for both odours and flavours in a time-saving high-throughput process in the future. It is based on an ultra-high performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS) method normally used for taste analysis.“
A new and time-saving feature of the developed approach is that volatile odorous substances can also be analyzed by an upstream enrichment or substance conversion step using this method, which is otherwise not used for aromatic substances.
Apple juice as a test object
"We have tested our new methodological approach using apple juice as an example. The results are very promising," says Andreas Dunkel, Senior Scientist at the Leibniz Institute of Food Systems Biology. Together with doctoral student Christoph Hofstetter from the TUM, he was instrumental in the development of the new system.
According to the scientists, the new method makes it possible for the first time to analyse a large number of samples in a very short time with regard to their taste and odour giving ingredients.
Also suitable for food profiling
The researchers hope to be able to further develop the method so that it can be used by food manufacturers in the future to quickly and easily monitor and, if necessary, optimise the taste of food along the entire value chain.
Last but not least, the new method could also be used to stop food counterfeit. "Using the identified ingredient samples, it would be possible to check the origin and quality data of the manufacturers and detect counterfeits," says food profiler and food chemist Andreas Dunkel.Source: TUMAuthor: Sossna