Sensory active substances causing off-odour in liquid whey during storage
Keywords:whey, SPME-GC-MS/O, off-odor, analysis
Liquid whey is a nutritious product with high water activity and neutral pH. Therefore, it is very susceptible to microbiological spoilage that results in undesirable off-odors. Additionally, minimally processed foods are the recent trend so setting an appropriate shelf life is essential. The commonly used microbiological methods are lengthy and time-demanding, so a quick and early identification of microbial degradation would be a significant benefit. Here we tested a solid-phase microextraction, gas chromatography with mass spectrometry coupled with olfactometry analysis (SPME-GC-MS/O) on samples of sweet unpasteurized liquid whey stored at 6 °C, 12 °C and 25 °C for a week. We compared the common methods – plate methods, measurement of pH, and dry matter determination with our proposed SPME-GC-MS/O. We have identified seven sensory active compounds while octanoic acid and a compound not reliably identified by the MS detector (with main m/z observed 133 (100), 151 (65), and 135 (26)) being the most prominent. Microbiological methods proved irreplaceable for proper setting of storage conditions (with the growth of coliforms being significant (p <0.001) at 25 °C). However, SPME-GC-MS/O was able to identify volatile substances responsible for off-odors and can be used as a powerful tool to detect the cause of undesirable chemical and microbial changes in whey beverages.
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