Identifying the underlying substances that are responsible for off-flavours is indispensable in order to develop suitable avoidance strategies. On the other hand, knowledge of the desirable flavours that impart a product with its special character and increase its acceptance amongst certain consumer groups is essential. We have extensive expertise in the identification of aroma compounds. We utilise state-of-the-art analytical methods to detect and identify aromas and off-flavors on a molecular basis. Knowledge of the specific compounds causing off-flavors is essential in order to draw conclusions to the formation pathways of both desirable and undesirable aroma compounds, thereby enabling off-flavours to be prevented or to promote the development of desirable aromas.
We have expertise in characterizing the transition of off-flavors from packaging materials into food and beverages, and in clarifying their formation pathways. We use this background knowledge to develop bespoke rapid methods for detecting aroma and off-flavor compounds and/or their precursor molecules for subsequent adaptation and validation in cooperation with our clients for in situ use in their commercial quality control processes. We also offer our customers the possibility to develop customised strategies for optimizing flavor development or avoiding off-flavor formation.
Off-flavor investigations target their origins, for example, their potential occurrence from external interferences (e.g., from packaging materials or contaminated raw materials), from different formation processes (e.g., due to thermal, chemical or microbial processes), or through the degradation of constituent, desirable aromas (e.g., evaporation, adsorption or absorption on packaging materials, or due to thermal, chemical or microbial processes) that cause a shift in the flavor profile of a product. Losses of aroma compounds or changes in the flavor of a product during storage can also be monitored to ascertain their causes.
Our chemo-analytical methods are typically complemented with sensory assessments that are performed with either a trained panel or naïve consumers, according to the specific requirements of a product evaluation.
We evaluate the aroma and flavor characteristics of diverse product groups and resources including (selected examples):