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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An aroma compound, also known as odorant, aroma, fragrance or flavor, is a chemical compound that has a smell or odor. A chemical compound has a smell or odor when two conditions are met: the compound needs to be volatile, so it can be transported to the olfactory system in the upper part of the nose, and it needs to be in a sufficiently high concentration to be able to interact with one or more of the olfactory receptors.

Aroma compounds can be found in food, wine, spices, perfumes, fragrance oils, and essential oils. For example, many form biochemically during ripening of fruits and other crops. In wines, most form as byproducts of fermentation. Odorants can also be added to a dangerous odorless substance, like natural gas or hydrogen, as a warning. As well many of the aroma compounds plays a significant role in the production of flavorants, which are used in the food service industry to flavor, improve and increase the appeal of their products.

Contents

Aroma compounds classified by structure

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Esters

Compound name Fragrance Natural occurrence Chemical structure
Methyl formate Ethereal
Methyl formate.svg
Methyl acetate Sweet, nail polish
Solvent
Methyl acetate.png
Methyl butyrate
Methyl butanoate
Fruity, apple
Pineapple
Methyl butyrate.png
Ethyl acetate Sweet, solvent Wine
Ethyl-acetate-2D-skeletal.png
Ethyl butyrate
Ethyl butanoate
Fruity, orange
Pineapple
Ethyl butyrate.png
Isoamyl acetate Fruity, banana
Pear
Isoamyl acetate.png
Pentyl butyrate
Pentyl butanoate
Fruity, pear
Apricot
Pentyl butyrate.png
Pentyl pentanoate Fruity, apple
Pentyl pentanoate.png
Isoamyl acetate Fruity, banana
Pear
Isoamyl acetate.png
Octyl acetate Fruity, orange
Ocyl acetate.png

Terpenes

Compound name Fragrance Natural occurrence Chemical structure
Myrcene Woody, complex Verbena, bay
Myrcene beta straight acsv.svg
Geraniol Rose, flowery Geranium, lemon
Geraniol structure.png
Nerol Sweet rose, flowery Neroli, lemongrass
Nerol2.png
Citral, lemonal
Geranial, neral
Lemon Lemon myrtle, lemongrass
Geranial1.png
Citronellal Lemon Lemongrass
Citronellal-2D-skeletal.png
Citronellol Lemon Lemongrass, rose
Pelargonium
Citronellol-2D-skeletal.png
Linalool Floral, sweet
Woody, lavender
Coriander, sweet basil
Lavender
Linalool-skeletal.png
Nerolidol Woody, fresh bark Neroli, ginger
Jasmine
Nerolidol.png

Cyclic terpenes

Compound name Fragrance Natural occurrence Chemical structure
Limonene Orange Orange, lemon
Limonene-2D-skeletal.svg
Camphor Camphor Camphor laurel
Camphor structure.png
Terpineol Lilac Lilac, cajuput
Terpineol alpha.svg
alpha-Ionone Violet, woody Violet
Alpha-ionone-label.png
Terpineol Lilac Lilac, cajuput
Terpineol alpha.svg
Thujone Minty Cypress, lilac
Juniper
Beta-Thujone.svg

Aromatic

Compound name Fragrance Natural occurrence Chemical structure
Benzaldehyde Almond
Benzaldehyde.png
Eugenol Clove Clove
Eugenol acsv.svg
Cinnamaldehyde Cinnamon Cassia
Cinnamon
Zimtaldehyd - cinnamaldehyde.svg
Ethyl maltol Cooked fruit
Caramelized sugar
Ethyl maltol.png
Vanillin Vanilla Vanilla
Vanillin.png
Anisole Anise Anise
Anisol.svg
Anethole Anise Anise
Sweet basil
Anethole-structure-skeletal.png
Estragole Tarragon Tarragon
Estragole acsv.svg
Thymol Thyme Thyme
Thymol2.svg

Amines

Compound name Fragrance Natural occurrence Chemical structure
Trimethylamine Fishy
Ammonia
Trimethylamine chemical structure.png
Putrescine
Diaminobutane
Rotting flesh Rotting flesh
Diaminobutane.png
Cadaverine Rotting flesh Rotting flesh
Cadaverine-2D-skeletal.png
Pyridine Fishy
Pyridin.svg
Indole Fecal
Flowery
Feces
Jasmine
Indol2.svg
Skatole Fecal Feces
Skatole structure.svg

Other aroma compounds

Alcohols

Aldehydes

Esters

Ketones

Lactones

  • gamma-Decalactone intense peach flavor
  • gamma-Nonalactone coconut odor, popular in suntan lotions
  • delta-Octalactone creamy note
  • Jasmine lactone powerful fatty fruity peach and apricot
  • Massoia lactone powerful creamy coconut
  • Wine lactone sweet coconut odor
  • Sotolon (maple syrup, curry, fenugreek)

Thiols

  • Ethanethiol, commonly called Ethyl mercaptan (added to propane or other liquefied petroleum gases used as fuel gases)
  • Grapefruit mercaptan (grapefruit)
  • Methanethiol, commonly called Methyl mercaptan (Durian or leek)
  • 2-Methyl-2-propanethiol, commonly called tertiary-butyl mercaptan is added as a blend of other components to natural gas used as fuel gas.

Miscellaneous compounds

  • Methylphosphine and dimethylphosphine (garlic-metallic, two of the most potent odorants known)[1]

Aroma compound receptors

Animals which are capable of smell detect aroma compounds with olfactory receptors. Olfactory receptors are cell membrane receptors on the surface of sensory neurons in the olfactory system which detect air-borne aroma compounds.

In mammals, olfactory receptors are expressed on the surface of the olfactory epithelium in the nasal cavity.

Safety

'Fragrance' was voted Allergen of the Year in 2007 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society. The composition of fragrances are usually not disclosed in the label of products, hiding the actual chemicals of the formula, which raises concerns between some consumers.[2]

References

  1. ^ a b D. Glindemann, A. Dietrich, H. Staerk, P. Kuschk, (2005). "The Two Odors of Iron when Touched or Pickled: (Skin) Carbonyl Compounds and Organophosphines". Angewandte Chemie International Edition 45 (42): 7006–7009. doi:10.1002/anie.200602100.  
  2. ^ Toxic chemicals linked to birth defects are being found at alarming levels in women of childbearing age

See also


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