Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry vol:52 issue:6 pages:1661-1668
Recently, it was reported that furfuryl ethyl ether is an important flavor compound indicative of beer storage and aging conditions. A study of the reaction mechanism indicates that furfuryl ethyl ether is most likely formed by protonation of furfuryl alcohol or furfuryl acetate followed by S(N)2-substitution of the leaving group by the nucleophilic ethanol. For the reaction in beer, a pseudo-first-order reaction kinetics was derived. A close correlation was found between the values predicted by the kinetic model and the actual furfuryl ethyl ether concentration evolution during storage of beer. Furthermore, 10 commercial beers of different types, aged during 4 years in natural conditions, were analyzed, and it was found that the furfuryl ethyl ether flavor threshold was largely exceeded in each type of beer. In these natural aging conditions, lower pH, darker color, and higher alcohol content were factors that enhanced furfuryl ethyl ether formation. On the other hand, sulfite clearly reduced furfuryl ethyl ether formation. All results show that the furfuryl ethyl ether concentration is an excellent time-temperature integrator for beer storage.