European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 221, Issue 3–4, pp 244–254 | Cite as

The relationship between sensory quality and volatile compounds in raw juice processed from elderberries (Sambucus nigra L.)

  • K. KaackEmail author
  • L. P. Christensen
  • M. Hughes
  • R. Eder
Original Paper


Elderberry juice was processed by pressing of 101 samples of elderberries (Sambucus nigra L.) picked in Austria, England and Denmark at optimum maturity. Taste panels trained in determination of elderberry flavour evaluated the juices and the results from the sensory evaluation were correlated to the content of volatile compounds. The volatile compounds were isolated from elderberry juices by dynamic headspace technique and analysed by GC-FID and GC-MS. A total of 59 volatile compounds were identified, 9 of which have not previously been detected in elderberry products. A total of 53 compounds occurred in quantifiable amounts and significant differences among the investigated elderberry samples were observed for 50 compounds. The importance of the isolated volatile compounds to elderberry flavour was determined by classical factor analysis using the results from the sensory evaluation and information on the odour of the individual volatile compounds. Classical factor analysis were used including determination of eigenvalues, factor loadings and factor scores by varimax rotation of standardised variables for extraction of four non correlated factors (principal components) explaining approximately 73% of the variation in elderberry flavour. Twenty-eight volatile compounds and sensory quality were included in the four factors. Using the compounds with highest numerical values (loadings) the four factors were named: fresh-elderberry-elder flower (35.2%), fresh-fruity-sweet (17.3%), fresh-fruity (13.7%) and green-floral-fruity (6.7%). Three compounds with characteristic elderberry odour (β-damascenone, nonanal, dihydroedulan) were closely correlated with the sensory quality of elderberry together with compounds with fruity, floral, green and/or miscellaneous odours.


Sambucus nigra Fruit juice Volatile compounds Flavour Sensory analysis Factor analysis 



The authors wish to thank Mrs. Birgitte Foged for excellent technical assistance and the industrial companies Bottle Green Drinks, Thorncroft vineyard Ltd., Steirische Beerenobstgenosssenschaft, Beerenfrost Kühlhaus, Fyns Bærdyrkerforening, Rynkeby Foods, and Dansk Erhvervsfrugtavl for their financial and technical support. We also thank the EU for financial support (project no. FAIR CT98 9653, Elderopt)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Kaack
    • 1
    Email author
  • L. P. Christensen
    • 1
  • M. Hughes
    • 2
  • R. Eder
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Food ScienceDanish Institute of Agricultural SciencesAarslevDenmark
  2. 2.The BioComposites CentreUniversity of WalesBangorUnited Kingdom
  3. 3.Höhere Bundeslehranstalt und Bundesamt für Wein- und ObstbauKlosterneuburgAustria

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