Flavor and tastes of the food are produced by the interaction between the sensory organ in human and a number of compounds having the mutual relationship. Therefore, it has been difficult to analyze the flavors and tastes by using the instrumental analytical technique. The integration of the sensory test method and instrumental analysis is potential approach to access the food flavors and tastes. On the other hand, it would be worthwhile to identify the metabolic pathways involved in the flavor and taste formation in the animals and plants to produce the food materials that possess the desired flavors and tastes. Here we introduce some investigations about the molecules and metabolic pathway responsible for the flavor of fermented foods and identification of the genes involved in flavor in the fruits.
One of the breakdown compounds of 4-methylthio-3-butenyl glucosinolate (4MTB-GSL), 4-methylthio-3-butenyl isothiocyanate (4MTB-ITC) is known as the unique pungent component of Japanese radish (daikon). Also these compounds are affected for both flavor and color of manufacturing products of daikon. ‘Daikon parental line No. 5’ is a first cultivar of daikon without containing 4MTB-GSL, and its manufacturing products are able to prevent the formation of 1-(2-thioxopyrrolidin-3yl)-1, 2, 3, 4-tetrahydro-β-carboline-3-carboxylic acid (TPCC) and 2-[3-(2-thioxopyrrolidin-3-ylidene)methyl]-tryptophan (TPMT), which are causes of sulfurous odors and yellow pigments. For this reason, the utilization of this novel cultivar for a breeding material will bring up new commercial cultivars, which new manufacturing products will be completely prevented sulfurous odors and yellow pigments, and remained pungency.
The flavor is an important element constituting mushroom tastes. Therefore, the flavor compounds have been analyzed in various species of mushrooms. Though some mushrooms such as Matsutake and Shiitake have a characteristic flavor compound, major flavor compounds in most mushrooms are volatile C8 compounds: 1-octen-3-ol, 1-octen-3-one, 3-octanone and 3-octanol. Lipid peroxidation enzyme, hydroperoxide-cleaving enzyme and oxidoreductase are presumed to be involved in the synthesis, but little information has been obtained about the enzymes. In this paper, the flavor compounds in mushrooms and the enzymes involved in the biosynthesis are described.
We have attempted to develop a characteristic local freshwater product cultivated in Yamaguchi Prefecture in order to contribute to regional fisheries foods. Sweetfish or Ayu is an edible fish, as the name suggests, they are known to have a characteristic odor such as cucumber or watermelon like. However, we have also an image that freshwater fish have fishy and stink odors. To develop an off-flavor deodorizing technique in aquaculture, sweetfish were raised by a food containing peel of citrus fruits. The panelists highly evaluated the raised sweetfish than those of the normal aquaculture and described as citrus and fresh flavorings. The developed sweetfish was named “Kanmiayu” after its citrus flavoring. Principal component analysis of data obtained with an electronic nose indicated that the odor of“Kanmiayu” was significantly different from those of wild and aquaculture fish. Under cooperation with a food company, we have successfully supplied new commercializing sweetfish (Kanmiayu) products.