Confectionery is generally considered a luxury food item. Consequently, manufacturers continually strive to produce confectionery that enhances the consumer’s eating experience, thereby building customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
In order to understand customer perceptions of flavor, researchers and manufacturers have investigated the flavor chemistry of food. This investigation has presented the need to better understand the release of volatile flavor compounds from food as it is chewed and swallowed. In-mouth flavor release is a very complicated process, because it depends on the properties of the food itself and the physiological characteristics of the person who is eating it. Over the last decade, considerable effort has been invested in the study of in vivo flavor release, and substantial work has been published on real-time analysis of flavor compounds as food is eaten.
Selected Ion Flow Tube Mass Spectrometry (SIFT-MS) is a recently commercialized analytical technique that allows flavor release to be measured in real time for simple headspace and in vivo applications. SIFT-MS detects and quantifies the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are important contributors to the flavor of confectionery products. In this document we discuss the application of SIFT-MS to detection of volatile flavor compounds in several confectionery products. Results from a range of actual SIFT-MS analyses are presented.
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