Chiralertpong, A., Acree, T.E., Barnard, J. et al. Chem. Percept. (2008) 1: 147. doi:10.1007/s12078-008-9018-0
Espresso coffee samples were freshly prepared with 10% sucrose, 0.0143% sucralose (equivalent in sweetness to 10% sucrose), or unsweetened, each with and without nondairy creamer. A sensory panel rated the intensities of “malty,” “caramel,” “roasty,” and “coffee-like.” The concentrations of flavor chemicals associated with the latter three sensations (Furaneol, 2-ethyl-3,5-dimethyl [EDM] pyrazine, and 2-furfuryl thiol, respectively) were determined by gas chromatography, using solid-phase microextraction sampling of coffee headspace. Furaneol and furfuryl thiol were essentially unaffected by creamer addition, but the more nonpolar EDM pyrazine was greatly reduced. The malty, caramel, roasty, and coffee-like flavor intensities were not significantly affected by creamer addition. This appears to be a case of disconnect between the absence of an odorant and perception. Furaneol, furfuryl thiol, and EDM pyrazine concentrations were unaffected by adding either sweetener. The malty sensation was the same with and without added sweetener. The roasty and coffee-like ratings both decreased to similar extents in the samples with the two added sweeteners. The ratings for caramel were considerably increased, again to a similar extent, by both sweeteners. Since the added sweeteners were both nonvolatile, this is clearly a case where taste affected odor perception.