Reverse engineering the aroma of plant-based meat substitutes

This study describes the use of headspace sorptive extraction with GCxGC–TOF MS to compare the volatile profiles of ground meat and plant-based substitutes.

Plant-based meat substitutes have increased in popularity and a goal for food producers is to create a product that mimics the sensory experience of cooked meats.

However, ground meat may release hundreds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during cooking, many of which are odour-active and cover a wide range of chemical classes. Capturing a comprehensive VOC profile to reverse engineer the aroma is a challenging task.

In this study, HiSorb™ high-capacity sorptive extraction probes were used with the Centri® sample extraction and enrichment platform for optimal sensitivity and improved chromatographic performance. This was followed by two-dimensional gas chromatography with time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GCxGC–TOF MS) to provide comprehensive VOC profiles.

An untargeted comparison of the VOC profiles was performed using the ChromCompare+ chemometrics platform to automatically find the significant differences and simplify the process of reverse engineering the aroma.

 

 

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