Sensory-directed identification of creaminess-enhancing semi-volatile lactones in crumb chocolate

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In order to gain a more comprehensive knowledge of the chemical nature of creaminess-related flavor compounds in milk chocolates on a molecular level, crumb chocolate was analyzed by means of activity guided screening techniques. Sensory studies of a triglyceride-free lipid emulsion indicated that the n-pentane extract showed the highest impact regarding creaminess sensation. Enhancement of creaminess by adding anhydrous milk fat fractions to chocolate was demonstrated by fractionated high-vacuum distillation of different fats associated with the chocolate production combined with sensory experiments. Syntheses of various δ-lactones and the quantification of these sensory active semi-volatiles led to the conclusion that the anhydrous milk fat contains a series of γ-and δ-lactones. Cocoa butter revealed a high concentration of δ-hexadecalactone, too. Experiments suggested that lactones are generated from the potential precursors monohydroxyalkanoic acid(s) esterified (mono-tri)glyceride(s) during heating. Sensory studies exhibited recognition thresh-olds of 29–40 µmol/kg for the long-chain δ-lactones in crumb chocolate. Furthermore, significant enhancement of the retro-nasal creamy flavor was found for δ-tetradecalactone.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1483
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Cocoa butter
  • Creaminess
  • Lactones
  • Milk chocolate


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