Sensory Lexicons and Formation Pathways of Off-Aromas in Dairy Ingredients: A Review
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Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the health benefits of dairy ingredients. However, products fortified with dairy proteins are experiencing considerable aroma challenges. Practices to improve the flavor quality of dairy proteins require a comprehensive understanding of the nature and origins of off-aroma. Unfortunately, existing information from the literature is fragmentary. This review presents sensory lexicons and chemical structures of off-aromas from major dairy ingredients, and it explores their possible precursors and formation mechanisms. It was found that similar chemical structures often contributed to similar off-aroma descriptors. Lipid degradation and Maillard reaction are two primary pathways that commonly cause aroma dissatisfaction. Traditional and novel flavor chemistry tools are usually adopted for off-aroma measurements in dairy ingredients. Strategies for improving aroma quality in dairy derived products include carefully selecting starting materials for formulations, and actively monitoring and optimizing processing and storage conditions.