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Identification of key aroma compounds from bitter orange (Citrus aurantium L.) products: essential oil and macerate-distillate extract

Deterre S., Rega B., Delarue J., Decloux M., Lebrun M., Giampaoli P.. 2012. Flavour and Fragrance Journal, 27 (1) : p. 77-88.

DOI: 10.1002/ffj.2087

The volatile compounds of bitter orange (Citrus aurantium L.) products, essential oil (EO) and the heart cut (HC) of the distillate were detected and quantified using gas chromatography (GC) coupled with a mass spectrometer and flame ionization detector. The flavour compounds were characterized using GC-olfactometry by nine trained panellists by the frequency of detection method. In total, 53 molecules were detected in the EO and 40 in the HC. The EO was characterized by 19 major odour compounds (frequency of detection from 6/9 to 9/9) with different aromatic notes among which a-pinene (floral), octanal (green), limonene (citrus), linalool (floral), a-terpineol (indeterminate: 'ND', green), linalyl acetate (floral), (E,E) or (E,Z)-2,4-decadienal (frying), dodecanal (ND), caryophyllene (green) and an unknown compound (IT = 1678, plastic note). The HC presented a complex mixture of several molecules in low concentrations, which characterize the bitter orange flavour. The HC was characterized by seven high FD odour compounds, three of them (myrcene, a-phellandrene, and limonene) with citrus and mint aromatic notes, and the other four ((Z)-linalool oxide, a-terpinolene, linalool and neral) with floral notes. The comparison of these two products brought to light that the overall process of maceration/distillation could induce the loss of 15 strong odours previously found in simple essential oil and characterized by plastic and metal notes. These results show that macerating-distilling bitter orange peels and EO makes it possible to select the most pleasant odour compounds while eliminating some off-odours present in the EO. This is the first time that the characterization of odour-active compounds has been carried out on bitter orange products. This valuable information could help for further investigation on process/product optimization.

Mots-clés : bigarade; citrus aurantium; composé aromatique; odeur; distillation; extrait d'origine végétale; macération; huile essentielle

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