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Structural and Sensory Characterization of Compounds Contributing to the Bitter Off-Taste of Carrots (Daucus carota L.) and Carrot Puree

Czepa, Andreas, Hofmann, Thomas
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2003 v.51 no.13 pp. 3865-3873
Daucus carota, carrots, detection limit, gel permeation chromatography, high performance liquid chromatography, liquid-liquid extraction, taste
Sequential application of solvent extraction, gel permeation chromatography, and HPLC in combination with taste dilution analyses revealed that not a sole compound but a multiplicity of bitter tastants contribute to the bitter off-taste of cold-stored carrots and commercial carrot puree, respectively. Among these bitter compounds, 3-methyl-6-methoxy-8-hydroxy-3,4-dihydroisocoumarin (6-methoxymellein), 5-hydroxy-7-methoxy-2-methylchromone (eugenin), 2,4,5-trimethoxybenzaldehyde (gazarin), (Z)-heptadeca-1,9-diene-4,6-diin-3,8-diol (falcarindiol), (Z)-heptadeca-1,9-diene-4,6-diin-3-ol (falcarinol), and (Z)-3-acetoxy-heptadeca-1,9-diene-4,6-diin-8-ol (falcarindiol 3-acetate) could be identified on the basis of MS as well as 1D- and 2D-NMR experiments. Due to the low concentrations of <0.1 mg/kg and the high taste thresholds found for eugenin and gazarin, these compounds could be unequivocally excluded as important contributors to the bitter taste of carrots. Calculation of bitter activity values as the ratio of their concentration to their bitter detection threshold clearly demonstrated that neither in fresh and stored carrots nor in commercial carrot puree did 6-methoxymellein contribute to the bitter off-taste. In contrast, the concentrations of falcarindiol in stored carrots and, even more pronounced, in carrot puree were found to be 9- and 13-fold above its low bitter detection concentration of 0.04 mmol/kg, thus demonstrating that this acetylenic diol significantly contributes to the bitter taste of the carrot products investigated.