Identification of compounds that contribute to trigeminal burn in aqueous ethanol solutions

Smaro Kokkinidou, Devin G. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The influence of carbonyl species on the trigeminal burn of distilled spirit model systems was investigated. Quantities of the intrinsic carbonyl compounds were significantly altered in 40% ethanol solutions using two methods; (1) increasing or decreasing the product pH, to induce hemiacetal formation and acetal stabilization or induce and stabilize carbonyl species such as aldehydes, respectively and (2) utilizing a sulfonyl hydrazine polymer treatment. Samples with reduced carbonyl concentrations had significantly lower perceived trigeminal burn intensity. Sensory recombination experiments revealed that addition of carbonyl compounds increased trigeminal burn perception in model systems; confirming the direct relationship between the concentration of carbonyl compounds and trigeminal burn. The strongest potentiators of the trigeminal response were carbonyl compounds octanal, nonanal, benzaldehyde and 2-heptanone suggesting the probability that carbonyl species such as saturated aldehydes and ketones act as agonists to activate nociceptors such as TRPV1 and TRPA1 and elicit trigeminal burn.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)757-762
Number of pages6
JournalFood Chemistry
StatePublished - Nov 15 2016


  • Acetals
  • Alcoholic spirits
  • Carbonyl species
  • Hemiacetals
  • Trigeminal burn


Dive into the research topics of 'Identification of compounds that contribute to trigeminal burn in aqueous ethanol solutions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this