American Chemical Society, Books and Journals Division
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry vol:61 issue:46 pages:10881-10890
Due to their high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants and proteins, microalgae hold a lot of potential for nutritional applications. When integrating microalgae in foodstuffs, the aroma is an important aspect to consider. In this study the aroma properties of microalgae were studied by correlating data on the volatile composition with sensory evaluations.
Four species of marine microalgae (Botryococcus braunii, Rhodomonas, Tetraselmis species and Nannochloropsis oculata) and one fresh water microalgae (Chlorella vulgaris) were investigated. Multivariate data processing revealed that microalgal samples having a seafood-like odor character contain high levels of sulfuric compounds (dimethyl disulfide, dimethyl trisulfide and methional), diketones, and -ionone and -ionone. Fresh green, fruity flavors were linked with typical aldehydes such as 2,4-alkadienals and 2,4,6-alkatrienals.
The presence of these compounds in fresh microalgae pastes is explained by aroma formation mechanisms such as enzymatic lipid oxidation, enzymatic and chemical degradation of dimethylsulphoniopropionate (generating dimethyl sulfide), phenylalanine (generating benzaldehyde), and carotenoids (generating ionones).