Journal of agricultural and food chemistry

Effect of copper on the volatility of aroma compounds in a model mouth system.

PMID 17117806


Copper is thought to influence aroma perception by affecting volatility of aroma compounds in the mouth through interaction with salivary components, especially proteins. Our objective was to identify the effect of copper on the volatility of aroma compounds and the role of copper-protein interaction in volatile chemistry in the mouth. Copper (2.5 mg/L) and four aroma compounds (hexanal, butyl acetate, 2-heptanone, and ethyl hexanoate, 0.5 microL/L each) were added to model systems containing water, electrolytes, and artificial saliva at different pH levels. Headspace concentration of each volatile was measured using SPME-GC analysis. Copper in the model systems increased headspace concentration of volatiles at pH 6.5, but no change in volatility was observed at pH 7.0. At pH 7.5, the presence of copper in the artificial saliva system containing mucin and alpha-amylase decreased headspace volatile concentration, whereas histatin did not cause any changes in volatility. Effect of copper on volatiles at pH 6.5 may be due to increased solubility of copper at lower pH. Salivary proteins seem to interact with copper at pH 7.5. The interaction may change configuration of binding sites for aroma compounds in mucin.