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In the heart of volatile compounds of jicaro seeds

Lebrun M., Corrales Hernandez C., Forestier-Chiron N., Maraval I., Pérez A.M., Vaillant F., Fliedel G.. 2016. In : Book of abstracts of the food factor 1 Barcelona conference, 2-4 November 2016, Barcelona (Spain). Barcelona : Formatex Research Center, p. 206-206. The food factor 1 Barcelona conference: Established, emerging and exploratory food science and technology. 1, 2016-11-02/2016-11-04, Barcelone (Espagne).

In Central America, a popular beverage is made from some roasted oilseeds, named jicaro seeds. Jicaro seeds are numerous and embedded in the pulp of the fruit of jicaro (Crescentia alata H.B.K), a calabash tree, native from Mexico and spread in dry areas of Central America. After fermentation, the seeds are separated from the pulp, sun dried and roasted in order to develop a specific flavor before being ground and used for making the beverage. These seeds are highly valued in several countries of Central America due to their high nutritional value and pleasant aroma. The aim of this study was to understand the effect of roasting on the composition of volatile compounds of jicaro seeds. Qualitative and quantitative determinations of volatile compounds in unroasted and roasted jicaro seeds (140 oC for 140 s) were carried out using Solvent Assisted Flavor Evaporation (SAFE) and Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS). A total of 27 volatile compounds were identified and quantified. Styrene appeared to be the main compound with a concentration of 22.57 and 47.0 mg/kg in unroasted and roasted seeds respectively. Many volatile compounds were already found in the unroasted seeds (19 out of 27). Others appeared in roasted seeds such as pyrazines and aldehydes. Most of compound concentrations increased with the roasting process, except for some alcohols or esters. A decrease of some reducing sugars and free amino acids was observed, probably due to Maillard reactions. Additionally, 22 impacting odor compounds of roasted seeds, extracted by Headspace Solid Phase Micro Extraction (HS-SPME), were identified by ten untrained panelists using Gas Chromatography Olfactometry (GCO). Ethyl-2-methylbutyrate was the only one recognized by 100% of the panelists as characteristic of jicaro note with concentrations of 0.16 mg/kg and 0.47 mg/kg in unroasted and roasted seeds respectively, while pyrazines were associated to roasted note. This ester, along with pyrazines, aldehydes, ketones and alcohols, contributes to the specific and pleasant aroma of jicaro seeds and its beverage. Its odor activity value (OAV) was of 1808, with an odor threshold at 0.26 ppb.

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