Flavor and Natural Products Chemistry Lab

Citrus Flavor Database

Why is flavor important?

  • Flavor is one of the most important factors in food purchases and consumption.
  • Flavor can be controlled only when the active components are identified and their interactions understood.
  • Flavor changes as foods are processed and stored.
  • Flavors interact with their packaging and are altered by the food matrix.

Our flavor research strives to understand the contribution of aroma/taste compounds to the flavor profile and overall sensory perception of food. Our laboratory is equipped with high-end, modern technology for performing analytical methods to enhance identification and quantification of novel aroma/taste compounds responsible for the primary flavor perceptions. We investigate the complex and challenging aspects of flavor from two perspectives: targeted and untargeted flavoromics.
Nutraceutical Health Benefits

How can nutraceuticals benefit us?

  • Prevent human diseases using specialty crops.
  • Understand mechanisms of disease prevention.
  • Provide new opportunities and potential economic benefits for Florida and U.S. agriculture.

Our nutraceutical health benefit studies focus on the discovery of bioactive compounds in natural products that provide benefit to human health. Using state of the art analytical techniques, combined with bioactivity-guided assays, our research aims to:

  • Identify the flavor profiles for citrus and other agricultural commodities (hops, lychee, pomegranate, etc.)
  • Modulate aroma and taste interactions, aroma release and taste
  • Identify the health benefits from citrus, citrus byproducts and other agricultural commodities
  • Study metabolites responsible for or resulting from diseases, such as obesity and inflammation, to aid in early diagnosis and provide pathological insight.

Potent Sulfur Volatiles

Sulfur compounds have been reported in citrus juices since the 1950's. However, only with the development of more sensitive technology, has the extent of their contribution become evident. In a recent study, over 20 sulfur compounds were detected using a pulsed flame photometric detector. Gas chromatography-olfactometry data has identified two new sulfur compounds and demonstrated that not all sulfur volatiles exhibit aroma activity. Additional experiments indicated that sulfur aroma impact compounds were altered during thermal processes such as pasteurization and concentration.

Citrus Oil Production

Click Here to view presentation