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Rules and Mechanisms of Perceptual Interaction of Odor Mixtures: Application to Icewine aroma

Abstract : Icewine was used as an experimental object, and hundreds of wine- or food-related odor mixtures were designed and investigated for the first time based on the identification and analysis of icewine’ odorants. The aim of the thesis work was to explore the key odor elements that affected the perception of odor mixtures and the general laws behind olfactory perceptual interactions. The thesis manuscript contains seven chapters:The first review of the literature gives a brief introduction to the olfactory system and odor perception. Then, odorants’ mixture perception is highlighted through examples of interactions between odorants at the perceptual level. Research progress in perceptual interactions between odorants observed in foods and beverages and methodologies involved in the researches of perceptual interactions are also briefly summarized.The second review of the literature aims to provide comprehensive information related to our research objects, the odor of a special wine, namely icewine, which made from late harvested and frozen grapes by unconventional production process. The uniqueness of icewine’s aroma, the mechanism of odor generation in icewine and the effects of natural and human factors in the vineyard and winery on aroma composition of icewines are systematically summarized. The current research status and future research needs of icewine aroma are also put forward in this chapter. Some of these research needs are exactly the content included in this thesis.The first study analyzed the odorants and the odorants’ aroma perception in icewine. In this study, the key aroma compounds of Chinese Vidal icewine were characterized by means of gas chromatography–olfactometry (GC-O) coupled with mass spectrometry (MS) on polar and non-polar columns. Aroma recombination experiments and omission tests were used to verify and rank the aroma contribution for investigating the key aroma compounds.The second study is among the very first attempts to evaluate the contribution of odor-active compounds considering the mixture-induced perceptual effect on a complex aroma (here icewine). In this study, we used the advanced Olfactoscan setup, which allowed us to consider the impact of a single odorant, identified by GC × GC−TOFMS, on the global wine aroma delivered as a background odor during GCO analysis. To analyze the data, a new semiautomatic method was applied to allow the identification of odor zones in a similar way both in GCO and Olfactoscan approaches based on the detection frequency method (19 trained judges).The third study systematically explored the perceptual interactions between key odor-active compounds. Based on the findings of the first two studies, more than 150 odor mixtures samples, related to the key odorants of icewine and wine aroma vectors, were designed to assess the influence of odor intensity, number of odorants in the mixture, and combinations of odorants on the overall perception. The experiment was performed with a 12-channels computer-controlled dynamic-dilution olfactometer.The last study selected 72 representative odorants in food and beverage systems based on the differences in their structural parameters, and 222 sets of binary odor mixtures were designed among the 2556 possible combinations. By measuring the intensity and pleasantness of the binary odor mixtures and of their two unmixed components, general laws of perceptual interactions, as well as hypotheses on their putative influencing factors in a simple system are established.The manuscript ended with a general conclusion and discussion (Chapter 7) about the four studies conducted, then the innovation of this work and the perspectives for further research were addressed.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 22, 2022 - 8:25:13 AM
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Yue Ma. Rules and Mechanisms of Perceptual Interaction of Odor Mixtures: Application to Icewine aroma. Agricultural sciences. Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté (France) (co-tutelle); Université de Jiangnan (R.P. Chine), 2021. English. ⟨NNT : 2021UBFCK077⟩. ⟨tel-03701366⟩

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