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Scientists sniff out the substances behind the aroma in the 'king of fruits'

Date:
November 28, 2012
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
The latest effort to decipher the unique aroma signature of the durian -- revered as the "king of fruits" in southeast Asia but reviled elsewhere as the world's foulest smelling food -- has uncovered several new substances that contribute to the fragrance.

Scientists sniff out the substances behind the aroma of durian fruit.
Credit: American Chemical Society

The latest effort to decipher the unique aroma signature of the durian -- revered as the "king of fruits" in southeast Asia but reviled elsewhere as the world's foulest smelling food -- has uncovered several new substances that contribute to the fragrance. The research appears in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Martin Steinhaus and colleagues explain that durian, available in Asian food shops in the United States and elsewhere, has a creamy yellowish flesh that can be eaten fresh or used in cakes, ice cream and other foods. Some people relish the durian's smell. Others, however, regard it as nauseating, like rotten onions. Past research identified almost 200 volatile substances in durian. Lacking, however, was information on which of those make a contribution to the characteristic durian smell. The authors set out to identify the big chemical players in the durian's odor signature.

In doing so, they pinpointed 41 highly odor-active compounds, 24 of which scientists had not identified in durian before. Among the most prominent were substances associated with fruity, sweet, sulfurous and oniony smells. The oniony smelling odorants belonged to a compound class that had rarely been found in food before. Four of the newly discovered chemical compounds were previously unknown to science.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jia-Xiao Li, Peter Schieberle, Martin Steinhaus. Characterization of the Major Odor-Active Compounds in Thai Durian (Durio zibethinus L. ‘Monthong’) by Aroma Extract Dilution Analysis and Headspace Gas Chromatography–Olfactometry. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2012; 60 (45): 11253 DOI: 10.1021/jf303881k

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Scientists sniff out the substances behind the aroma in the 'king of fruits'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121128112206.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2012, November 28). Scientists sniff out the substances behind the aroma in the 'king of fruits'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121128112206.htm
American Chemical Society. "Scientists sniff out the substances behind the aroma in the 'king of fruits'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121128112206.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

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