European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 226, Issue 3, pp 315–325 | Cite as

Aroma-active compounds of butter: a review

  • Silvia Mallia
  • Felix Escher
  • Hedwig Schlichtherle-Cerny
Review Article

Abstract

This review article shows that more than 230 volatile compounds have been identified in butter, however, only a small number of them can be considered as key odorants of butter aroma. Gas chromatography olfactometry was used to determine the character impact odorants of different kinds of butter. Sweet cream butter is characterised by lactones with fruity and creamy notes and by sulphur compounds, having corn-like and garlic odours. The key odour compounds of sour cream butter are diacetyl (buttery-like), butanoic acid (cheesy) and δ-decalactone (peach), mainly due to lactic acid bacteria fermentation. The aroma of butter oil is characterised by aldehydes, such as (E)- and (Z)-2-nonenal and (E,E)-2,4-decadienal, conferring green and oily notes. Olfactometric studies of heated butter showed the formation of new aroma compounds during heating, such as 3-methylbutanoic acid (cheesy), methional (potato-like) and 2,5-dimethyl-4-hydroxy-3-(2H)-furanone (caramel-like). High temperature treatment of butter can also induce off-flavour development. Off-odours in butter originate from autooxidative and as well as from lipolytic reactions, microbial contamination and animal feeding.

Keywords

Butter Aroma GC-O Gas chromatography Olfactometry Off-flavour 

Abbreviations

AEDA

Aroma extract dilution analysis

BO

Butter oil

CharmAnalysis™

Combined hedonic aroma response measurement

DMS

Dimethyl sulphide

DMTS

Dimethyl trisulphide

FD

Dilution factor

FID

Flame ionisation detector

GC × GC

Two dimensional gas chromatography

GC-MS

Gas chromatography mass spectrometry

GC-O

Gas chromatography olfactometry

OAV

Odour activity value

SIDA

Stable isotope dilution assay

SNIF

Surface nasal impact frequency

SoCB

Sour cream butter

SPME

Solid phase microextraction

SwCB

Sweet cream butter

TOF-MS

Time-of-flight mass spectrometry

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvia Mallia
    • 1
  • Felix Escher
    • 2
  • Hedwig Schlichtherle-Cerny
    • 1
  1. 1.Agroscope Liebefeld-Posieux Research Station ALPBerneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Institute of Food Science and NutritionFood Technology and Sensory ScienceZurichSwitzerland

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