Chemosensory Perception

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 147–152

Taste–Odor Integration in Espresso Coffee

  • Ariya Chiralertpong
  • Terry E. Acree
  • John Barnard
  • Karl J. Siebert


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.


Chemosensory Integration Odor Taste Synesthesia 


  1. Acree TE, Kittel K, Kurtz A (2007) Flavor chemistry and qualia. In: Hofmann T, Meyerhof W, Schieberle P (eds) Proceedings of the 8th Wartburg Symposium on Flavor Chemistry and Biology, Eisenach, Germany, pp 33–38Google Scholar
  2. Bingham AF, Birch GG, de Graf C, Behan JM, Perring KD (1990) Sensory studies with sucrose maltol mixtures. Chem Senses 15:447–456CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blake AA (2004) Flavour perception and the learning of food preferences. In: Taylor A, Roberts D (eds) Flavor Perception. Blackwell, Oxford, UK, pp 172–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bücking M, Steinhart H (2002) Headspace GC and sensory analysis characterization of the influence of different milk additives on the flavor release of coffee beverages. J Agric Food Chem 50:1529–1534CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Calvino AM, Garcia-Medina MR, Cometto-Muniz JE (1990) Interactions in caffeine–sucrose and coffee–sucrose mixtures: evidence of taste and flavor suppression. Chem Senses 15:505–519CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Clark CC, Lawless HT (1994) Limiting response alternatives in time–intensity scaling: an examination of the halo-dumping effect. Chem Senses 19:583–594CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. De Leon D (2001) The qualities of qualia. Commun Cogn 34(1–2):121–138Google Scholar
  8. de Roos KB, Wolswinkel K (1993) Non-equilibrium partition model for predicting flavour release in the mouth. In: 7th Weurman Flavour Research Symposium Noordwijkerhout, Elsevier, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  9. Dennett DC (1988) Quining Qualia. In: Marcel A, Bisiach E (eds) Consciousness in Modern Science. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  10. Dravnieks A (1985) Atlas of odor character profiles. American Society for Testing and Materials, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  11. Ebeler SE (2001) Analytical chemistry: unlocking the secrets of wine flavor. Food Rev Int 17:45–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Frank RA, Byram J (1988) Taste–smell interactions are tastant and odorant dependent. Chem Senses 13(3):445–456CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hornung D, Enns M (1994) The synergistic action of the taste and smell components of flavour. Synergy, Andover, UKGoogle Scholar
  14. Keast RSJ, Dalton PH, Breslin PAS (2004) Flavor interactions at the sensory level. In: Taylor A, Roberts D (eds) Flavor Perception. Blackwell, Oxford, UK, pp 228–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Koch C (2004) The quest for consciousness a neurobiological approach. Roberts, Englewood, COGoogle Scholar
  16. Lawless HT, Heymann H (1998) Sensory Evaluation of Food: Principles and Practices. Plenum, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  17. Lewis CI (1929) Mind and the World-Order; Outline of a Theory of Knowledge. C. Scribner’s Sons, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  18. Maeztu L, Sanz C, Andueza S, Paz De Pena M, Bello J, Cid C (2001) Characterization of espresso coffee aroma by static headspace GC-MS and sensory flavor profile. J Agric Food Chem 49:5437–5444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Meilgaard M, Civille GV, Carr BT (1999) Sensory Evaluation Techniques. CRC, Boca Raton, FLGoogle Scholar
  20. Prescott J (2004) Psychological processes in flavour perception. In: Taylor A, Roberts D (eds) Flavor Perception. Blackwell, Oxford, UK, pp 256–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Stevenson R-J, Case T-I, Boakes R-A (2005) Implicit and explicit tests of odor memory reveal different outcomes following interference. Learn Motiv 36:353–373CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Stevenson RJ, Boakes RA (1998) Changes in odor sweetness resulting from implicit learning of a simultaneous odor–sweetness association: an example of learned synesthesia. Learn Motiv 29:113–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Stevenson RJ, Boakes RA (2004) Sweet and sour smells: learned synesthesia between the senses of taste and smell. In: Calvert GA, Spence C, Stein BE (eds) The Handbook of Multisensory Processes. MIT, Cambridge, MA, pp 69–83Google Scholar
  24. Stevenson RJ, Prescott J, Boakes RA (1995) The acquisition of taste properties by odors. Learn Motiv 26:1–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Stevenson RJ, Prescott J, Boakes RA (1999) Confusing tastes and smells: how odours can influence the perception of sweet and sour tastes. Chem Senses 24:627–635CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Stoer NL, Lawless HT (1993) Comparison of single product scaling and relative-to-reference scaling in sensory evaluation of dairy products. J Sensory Stud 8:257–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Wilson DA, Stevenson RJ (2006) Learning to smell: olfactory perception from neurobiology to behavior. The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, pp 172–174Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ariya Chiralertpong
    • 1
  • Terry E. Acree
    • 1
  • John Barnard
    • 1
  • Karl J. Siebert
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Food Science and TechnologyCornell UniversityGenevaUSA

Personalised recommendations