Contributing to interpret sensory attributes qualifying Iberian hams from the volatile profile
Keywords:Aroma, Chemometrics, Flavour, Iberian hams, Volatiles
The study involved the sensory assessment of 8 Iberian hams from the main producer zones and the analysis of their volatile composition by SPME-GC. The latter analysis was carried out independently on 4 well defined locations of the ham (subcutaneous fat, and biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus muscles) in order to know their possible partial contribution to the whole ham aroma. The relation between volatile compounds and sensory attributes was established by the procedure of statistical sensory wheel (SSW), generating 4 different plots, each one of them referring to one of the ham locations. The volatile compounds explain similar information of the sensory attributes independently of the part of the ham from which they are produced although the volatiles quantified in semitendinosus muscle and subcutaneous fat seem to contribute slightly more than the other parts to the sensory profile determined by the panellists.Volatiles compounds with significance in the ham aroma were 3-methylbutanol, hexanal, octanol, nonanol, 2- heptanol, among many others, although their contribution to the aroma varies depending on the location.
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