The objective of this study was to identify compounds responsible for medicinal off-flavours produced by different species and strains of Alicyclobacillus in orange juice using a combination of chromatographic-coupled olfactometric techniques and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Each of five Alicyclobacillus strains was inoculated into separate juice samples and incubated up to 28 days at 45 degrees C. Aroma compounds in the juice were analysed by GC-olfactometry (GC-O) and confirmed using GC-MS. GC-O identified three components that were described as medicinal/antiseptic. Microbial populations were enumerated at timed intervals by spiral plating onto Alicyclobacillus agar. Within 28 days incubation, all five strains produced medicinal off-aromas from guaiacol and at least one halogenated phenol. This is the first study to evaluate individual juice aroma components produced by Alicyclobacillus species using olfactometry and to demonstrate that at least three medicinal off-flavour compounds are associated with the growth of alicyclobacilli in orange juice.
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