Characterisation of the volatile fraction of aromatic caramel using heart-cutting multidimensional gas chromatography

Laurianne Paravisini, Aurélie Prot, Cécile Gouttefangeas, Cédric Moretton, Henri Nigay, Catherine Dacremont, Elisabeth Guichard

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33 Scopus citations


The first aim of our study was to improve characterisation of the volatile fraction of aromatic caramel by applying heart-cutting multidimensional gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry and olfactometry (MDGC-MS-O) on targeted odorant fractions. The second aim was to compare the volatile composition of two caramel samples, which differed in terms of their carbohydrate composition and cooking process. MDGC analyses enabled identification of 37 compounds (17 with the addition of pure standard) in the burnt sugar caramel, 20 of which were reported for the first time in caramel. Fifteen compounds were identified as odour-active and described using a range of attributes such as floral, roasted, spicy and almond. Furans, lactones and acids resulting from the thermal breakdown of sugars predominated in the volatile fraction of the burnt sugar caramel, due to the harsher cooking conditions. Finally, these results have enabled a clearer understanding of aromatic caramel as well as the identification of new compounds which might make an important contribution to its aroma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-289
Number of pages9
JournalFood Chemistry
StatePublished - Jan 15 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work received financial support from the Nigay SAS, ANRT (Association Nationale de la Recherche et de la Technologie), the Regional Council for Burgundy and FEDER (European Union). The authors would also like to thank Karine Gourrat and the ChemoSens platform (INRA) for their technical support.


  • Caramel
  • Heart-cutting multidimensional gas chromatography (MDGC)
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Odorant compounds
  • Olfactometry


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