You are on page 1of 6

Chapter 1

New Trends and Developments


in Flavor Chemistry
Downloaded by UNIV NAC DE COLOMBIA UNAL on November 7, 2010 | http://pubs.acs.org

An Overview
Publication Date: February 21, 1989 | doi: 10.1021/bk-1989-0388.ch001

Roy Teranishi

Western Regional Research Center, Agricultural Research Service,


U.S. Department of Agriculture, Albany, CA 94710

This chapter gives an overview of new trends and


developments in flavor chemistry. One important
development was made possible by advances in
analytical methodology, that i s , the identification
of numerous compounds with known flavor character-
istics. As more and more compounds are correlated
with characteristic flavors, there is a trend to
study flavor precursors and to explain how flavor
is developed and released. Many of the newest
developments in flavor chemistry are in the area of
flavor production from plant and animal sources;
this trend has come about because of the public's
fear of the words "chemical" and "synthetic". In
this chapter, words such as these are discussed
in terms of the public's perception of them versus
a chemist's viewpoint. Another new trend is to
understand the chemical reactions involved in the
processing and storage of foods in order to bring
foods to consumers at optimum acceptability.
P r i o r to the 1950»s only about 500 flavor compounds were known (1).
Since then, with the advent of modern instrumention, thousands of
compounds have been characterized i n hundreds of different foods
(2). There have been many books published on flavor research work-
shops and symposia, some of which are held on a periodic basis and
some on special occasions and t o p i c s , covering various aspects of
flavor (3-20). Also, there are many excellent reviews which every
serious flavor chemist should consult (21-43).
1
Advances i n a n a l y t i c a l methodology introduced i n the I960 s were
applied from the early 1970»s (3 5, 12, 131 14). Previous to gas
f

chromatography, f r a c t i o n a l d i s t i l l a t i o n s and column chromatography


of colored derivatives were the primary means of separations. Size
of sample required for d i s t i l l a t i o n i s , of course, enormous compared
to what i s required for gas chromatography. The resolution of sepa-
r a t i o n by gas chromatography i s far superior to that attained by
This chapter not subject to U.S. copyright
Published 1989 American Chemical Society

In Flavor Chemistry; Teranishi, R., et al.;


ACS Symposium Series; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 1989.
2
FLAVOR CHEMISTRY: TRENDS AND DEVELOPMENTS
f r a c t i o n a l d i s t i l l a t i o n . Also, the advent of i n f r a r e d , nuclear mag-
netic resonance, and mass spectrometry has made i t possible t o make
s t r u c t u r a l determinations with micro amounts. Thus, with the use o f
modern a n a l y t i c a l methods, the number o f compounds with known f l a v o r
c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s increased i n the 1970's and 1980's. These advances
have set the stage f o r the present trends and developments i n f l a v o r
chemistry.

Many of the newest developments i n f l a v o r chemistry are i n the area


of flavor production from plant and animal sources; hence, s i g n i -
fying the popularity of the term "biotechnology". This trend has
Downloaded by UNIV NAC DE COLOMBIA UNAL on November 7, 2010 | http://pubs.acs.org

come about because of the fear of the public of the words "chemical"
and "synthetic".
Publication Date: February 21, 1989 | doi: 10.1021/bk-1989-0388.ch001

The word "natural" i s used i n opposition t o the word "synthetic"


with the connotation that "natural" products are safer than "syn-
t h e t i c s " , but there are many toxins made by plants and animals which
are very detrimental to man (44-47). Moreover, whether chemicals
are made i n f l a s k s by man or made by plants and animals, no
compounds are made on earth other than those permitted by the laws
of nature. Therefore, a l l molecules on t h i s earth are "natural".
This d e f i n i t i o n i s from a c h e m i s t s viewpoint, and i s i n agreement
with a dictionary d e f i n i t i o n of " c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of or explainable by
the operations of the physical world".

However, The Food and Drug Administration d e f i n i t i o n s (48) are:


"The term ' a r t i f i c i a l f l a v o r ' or ' a r t i f i c i a l f l a v o r i n g ' means any
substance, the function of which i s t o impart f l a v o r , which i s not
derived from a spice, f r u i t or f r u i t j u i c e , vegetable or vegetable
j u i c e , ... , or fermentation products thereof. ... The term
'natural f l a v o r ' or 'natural f l a v o r i n g ' means the e s s e n t i a l o i l ,
oleoresin, essence or e x t r a c t i v e , protein hydrolysate, d i s t i l l a t e or
any product of r o a s t i n g , heating or enzymolysis, which contains the
f l a v o r i n g constituents derived from a spice, f r u i t or f r u i t j u i c e ,
vegetable or vegetable j u i c e , edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root,
l e a f or s i m i l a r plant m a t e r i a l , meat, seafood, p o u l t r y , eggs, dairy
products, or fermentation products thereof." I t i s t h i s set of
words, "or fermentation products thereof", which has set o f f a
f l u r r y of a c t i v i t y i n biotechnology i n order t o use the words
"natural f l a v o r i n g " on the l a b e l of food products.

The p u b l i c has an unbased fear o f c h e m i c a l s " and "synthetics" and an


unbased confidence i n "natural" compounds and products. The p u b l i c
should be educated that there are no differences i n the molecules
used i n flavorings which are made by man i n f l a s k s or by plants and
animals. However, because of t h i s fear, there i s a trend i n the use
of "naturals", materials from plants and animals (including micro-
organisms) obtained by biotechnology, over "synthetics", materials
from chemical laboratories.

Plants and animals have been selected by c l a s s i c a l genetic methods


for optimum y i e l d , c o l o r , texture, disease resistance, etc. I t i s
time f o r plants and animals t o be selected for optimum f l a v o r . In

In Flavor Chemistry; Teranishi, R., et al.;


ACS Symposium Series; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 1989.
3
1. TERANISHI New Trends and Developments in Flavor Chemistry

t h i s long range plan, flavor chemistry w i l l help i n the selection of


plants and animals for a c c e p t a b i l i t y whether i t i s by the c l a s s i c a l
or modern genetic engineering methods.

In the short range plan, raw materials can be harvested, processed,


stored and shipped to bring more f l a v o r f u l food products to consu-
mers. Very few food products are used d i r e c t l y as grown on the
farm. Grains must be m i l l e d , made i n t o f l o u r , and then baked to
make breads and other cereal products. F r u i t s and vegetables must
be picked at a time to give optimum f l a v o r and texture. Most meats,
red or white f l e s h , are almost f l a v o r l e s s u n t i l heated. Chemical
Downloaded by UNIV NAC DE COLOMBIA UNAL on November 7, 2010 | http://pubs.acs.org

reactions involved i n the above s i t u a t i o n s must be understood i n


order to bring foods to consumers at optimum a c c e p t a b i l i t y .
Publication Date: February 21, 1989 | doi: 10.1021/bk-1989-0388.ch001

The development of modern a n a l y t i c a l methods has permitted the ex-


amination of v o l a t i l e s from fresh f r u i t to determine when to pick
the f r u i t . I t i s the usual concept that f r u i t s are at t h e i r best
when picked "tree-ripe". However, i n extreme cases, as with bananas
and pears, these f r u i t s must be picked when hard and green and be
permitted to soften and ripen o f f the tree. I f these f r u i t s are
permitted to ripen on the t r e e , they become mealy and unacceptable.
Some f r u i t , l i k e strawberries and peaches, are of best q u a l i t y when
l e f t to ripen on the plants. Apples have been shown to have the
best aroma i f picked almost ripe and develop the most aroma about a
week or two a f t e r picking.

Man has used biotechnology f o r converting raw materials to food pro-


ducts for many centuries. Production of beer i s thought to date
back to about 6000 BC i n ancient Babylonia. The predecessors of soy
sauce and miso seem to have originated i n China some 2500 years
ago. Man has been using products altered by microorganisms, and has
learned by t r i a l and error which of the products are safe to eat and
which are not. Modern s c i e n t i f i c methods are now being applied to
explain what chemical and physical a l t e r a t i o n s are accomplished by
microorganisms. Also, further advancements i n biotechnology w i l l
probably be made to make such systems even more e f f i c i e n t , perhaps
even bypass l i v i n g organisms by using only enzymes. As more and
more compounds are correlated with c h a r a c t e r i s t i c f l a v o r s , there i s
a trend to study flavor precursors and to explain how flavor i s
developed and released, e s p e c i a l l y since now i t can be determined
exactly which enantiomer i s making the contribution to a character-
i s t i c aroma.

The era of publishing a large number of compounds i d e n t i f i e d as to


chemical structures i s slowly changing to an era i n which c o n s t i -
tuents are i d e n t i f i e d as to which are the important contributors to
the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c odors. More and more sensory analyses are s t a -
t i n g odor threshold values as well as odor q u a l i t y .

In the evaluation of contribution to taste, amino acids and peptides


are being studied as to sweet, s a l t y , b i t t e r , sour and umami [brothy
mouth-feel, see (19)] sensations. In the production of gravies and
soups, proteins are hydrolyzed to smaller molecules which evoke

In Flavor Chemistry; Teranishi, R., et al.;


ACS Symposium Series; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 1989.
4
FLAVOR CHEMISTRY: TRENDS AND DEVELOPMENTS
more taste sensations than do the large protein molecules. Sys-
tematic studies of amino acids and peptides are providing i n t e r -
esting data which w i l l be useful i n optimizing conditions to y i e l d
the greatest amount of acceptable tastes and minimizing undesirable
tastes.
As a n a l y t i c a l methodology i s improved, the known number of com-
pounds contributing t o f l a v o r w i l l be increased, and f l a v o r chemi-
s t r y w i l l become more applied. I n d u s t r i a l organizations w i l l be
able t o u t i l i z e the information gained i n fundamental research to
improve the q u a l i t y of t h e i r products. At the same time, there w i l l
Downloaded by UNIV NAC DE COLOMBIA UNAL on November 7, 2010 | http://pubs.acs.org

be more of a data base on which t o b u i l d a better understanding of


the mechanisms of perception of taste and o l f a c t i o n .
As the demand for natural f l a v o r s increases, and as constituents
contributing t o such f l a v o r s are i d e n t i f i e d , f l a v o r chemistry w i l l
Publication Date: February 21, 1989 | doi: 10.1021/bk-1989-0388.ch001

be applied i n the biotechnological production of such f l a v o r s .


Also, processing methods w i l l be followed t o r e t a i n most of the
fresh f l a v o r s of raw materials. Cases i n which f l a v o r i s devel-
oped during processing, modern a n a l y t i c a l methods w i l l be applied t o
adjust processing conditions t o produce the optimum desirable
f l a v o r s . Thus, f l a v o r chemistry has reached a stage where i t i s now
being applied t o improve the f l a v o r of foods, fresh and processed,
reaching many consumers.

Literature Cited
1. Weurman, C. Lists of Volatile Compounds in Foods, 1st Edition;
Division of Nutrition and Food Research TNO: Zeist, The
Netherlands, 1963.
2. Volatile Compounds in Food; S. van Straten and H. Maarse, Ed.;
Division of Nutrition and Food Research TNO: Zeist, The
Netherlands, 1983. Supplement 1, 1984; 2, 1985; 3, 1986; 4,
1987.
3. Symposium on Foods: The Chemistry and Physiology of Flavors; H.
W. Schultz, E. A. Day, and L. M. Libbey, Ed.; AVI: Westport,
Connecticut, 1967; 552 pp.
4. Gustation and Olfaction; G. Ohloff and A. F. Thomas, Ed.;
Academic Press: London, 1971; 274 pp.
5. Teranishi, R., I. Hornstein, P. Issenberg, and E. L. Wick.
Flavor Research: Principles and Techniques; Marcel Dekker, Inc.:
New York, 1971; 315 pp.
6. Aroma Research; H. Maarse and P. J. Groenen, Ed.; Pudoc:
Wageningen, 1975; 245 pp.
7. Geruch- and Geschmackstoffe; F. Drawert, Ed.; H. Carl: Nurnberg,
1975; 299 pp.
8. Phenolic, Sulfur, and Nitrogen Compounds in Food Flavors; G.
Charalambous and I. Katz, Ed.;ACS Symposium Series 26. American
Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 1976; 215 pp.
9. Progress in Flavour Research; D. G. Land and H. E. Nursten, Ed.;
Applied Science Publishers, Ltd.: London, 1979; 371 pp.
10. Food Taste Chemistry; J. C. Boudreau, Ed.; ACS Symposium Series
115, ACS: Washington, DC, 1979; 262 pp.
11. Flavour '81; P. Schreier, Ed.; de Gruyter: Berlin, 1981; 780 pp.

In Flavor Chemistry; Teranishi, R., et al.;


ACS Symposium Series; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 1989.
1. TERANISHI New Trends and Developments in Flavor Chemistry
5

12. Flavor Research: Recent Advances; R. Teranishi, R. A. Flath, and


H. Sugisawa, Ed.; Marcel Dekker, Inc.: New York, 1981; 381 pp.
13. Analysis of Volatiles; P. Schreier, Ed.; de Gruyter: Berlin,
1984; 469 pp.
14. Analysis of Foods and Beverages: Modern Techniques; G.
Charalambous,Ed.; Academic Press: New York, 1984; 652 pp.
15. Progress in Flavour Research 1984; J. Adda, Ed.; Elsevier:
Amsterdam, 1985.
16. Topics in Flavour Research; R. G. Berger, S. Nitz, and P.
Schreier, Ed.; H. Eichorn: D-8051 Marzling-Hangenham, 1985; 476
pp.
Downloaded by UNIV NAC DE COLOMBIA UNAL on November 7, 2010 | http://pubs.acs.org

17. Chemical Changes in Food during Processing; T. Richardson and J.


W. Finley, Ed.; AVI: Westport, Connecticut, 1985; 514 pp.
18. Chemistry of Heterocyclic Compounds in Flavours and Aromas; G.
Publication Date: February 21, 1989 | doi: 10.1021/bk-1989-0388.ch001

Vernin, Ed.; Ellis Horwood, Ltd.: Chichester, 1982; 375 pp.


19. Umami: A Basic Taste; Y. Kawamura and M. R. Kare, Ed.; Marcel
Dekker, Inc.: New York, 1987; 649 pp.
20. Flavour Science and Technology; M. Martens, G. A. Dalen and H.
Russwurm, Jr., Ed.; Wiley: London, 1987; 566 pp.
21. Ohloff, G. Importance of minor components in flavors and
fragrances. Perfumer and Flavorist 1978, 3, 11.
22. Ohloff, G., Recent developments in the field of naturally­
-occurring aroma components. In Progress in the Chemistry of
Organic Natural Products, 1978, Vol. 35, p. 431, (founded by L.
Zechmeister) W. Herz, H. Griseback, G. W. Kirby, Ed.;
Springer-Verlag: Wien - New York.
23. Ohloff, G., and I. Flament. Some recent aspects of the
chemistry of naturally occuring pyrazines. In The Quality of
Foods and Beverages. Chemistry and Technology. Vol. 1, G.
Charalambous and G. Inglett, Ed.; Academic Press: New York,
1981; p. 35.
24. Ohloff, G., I. Flament,, and W. Pickenhagen. Flavor chemistry,
Food Reviews International, 1985, 1(1): 99.
25. Maga, J. Α., and C. E. Sizer. Pyrazines in foods, Handbook of
Flavor Ingredients, 2nd Edition, vol. 1; CRC Press: Cleveland,
1975, p. 47.
26. Maga. J. A. Thiazoles in foods, ibid., p. 228.
27. Maga, J. A. Bread flavor, ibid., p. 669.
28. Maga, J. A. The role of sulfur compounds in food flavor. Part
I. Thiazoles, CRC Crit. Rev. Food Sci. Nutr., 1975, 6(2): 153.
29. Maga, J. Α., Part II. Thiophenes, ibid., 241.
30. Maga, J. Α., Part III. Thiols, ibid., 1976,7(2): 147.
31. Maga, J. Α., Lactones in food, ibid., 8(1): 1.
32. Maga, J . Α., Phenolics in food, ibid., 1978, 10(4): 323.
33. Maga, J. Α., Amines in food, ibid., 10(4): 373.
34. Maga, J. Α., Furans in food, ibid., 1979, 11(4): 355.
35. Maga, J. Α., The chemistry of oxazoles and oxazolines in food,
ibid., 1981, 14(3): 285.
36. Maga, J. Α., Pyrazines in foods: an update, ibid., 1982, 16: 1.
37. Maga, J. Α., Flavor potentiators, ibid., 1984, 18: 231.
38. Maga, J. Α., The flavor chemistry of wood smoke, Food Reviews
International, 1987, 3(1 & 2): 139.
39. Belitz, H.-D., and H. Wieser. Bitter compounds: occurrence and
structure-activity, ibid., 1985, 1(2): 271.

In Flavor Chemistry; Teranishi, R., et al.;


ACS Symposium Series; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 1989.
6 FLAVOR CHEMISTRY: TRENDS AND DEVELOPMENTS

40. Petro-Turza, M. Flavor of tomato and tomato products, ibid.,


1986-1987, 2(3): 309.
41. Carson, J. F. Chemistry and biological properties of onions and
garlic, ibid., 1987, 3(1 & 2): 71.
42. Fukushima, D. Fermented vegetable protein and related foods of
Japan and China, ibid., 1985, 1(1): 149.
43. Bioflavour '87; edited by P. Schreier, in press.
44. Toxic Constituents of Plant Foodstuffs; I. E. Liener, Ed.;
Academic Press: New York, 1969; 500 pp.
45. Hirono, I. Natural carcinogenic products of plant origin, CRC
Crit. Rev. Toxicol. 1981, 8(3), 235-277.
Downloaded by UNIV NAC DE COLOMBIA UNAL on November 7, 2010 | http://pubs.acs.org

46. Nutritional and Toxicological Aspects of Food Safety; M.


Friedman, Ed.; Plenum Press: New York, 1984; 584 pp.
47. Plant Toxicology; M. P. Hegarty, L. F. James, R. F. Keeler, Ed.;
Publication Date: February 21, 1989 | doi: 10.1021/bk-1989-0388.ch001

Dominion Press: Melbourne, 1985; 623 pp.


48. Code of Federal Regulations, Food and Drugs, Vol. 21, Part
101.22, Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and
Records Administration, U. S. Government Printing Office:
Washington, D. C., April, 1988.
RECEIVED August 30, 1988

In Flavor Chemistry; Teranishi, R., et al.;


ACS Symposium Series; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 1989.