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Enhancing that fresh-squeezed flavor.

Enhancing that fresh-squeezed flavor

Processed orange juice might taste better now that chemists have deciphered Mother Nature's secret recipe for fresh flavor. Philip E. Shaw, a flavor chemist at the USDA's Citrus and Subtropical Products Laboratory in Winter Haven, Fla., used gas chromatography analysis to generate a profile of the gases that escape from juice and impart its fruity aroma. "The more this profile looks like the profile for fresh juice, the closer in taste [a concentrate will be] to fresh juice," says Shaw, who tested both fresh and processed juices.

To identify the right mixture, Shaw sampled the trace amounts of volatile gases that build up in the air space inside a container of orange juice. At first, he detected only 20 volatile substances; now he sees at least 40. "They were always there and your nose was picking them up, but our instruments weren't," he says. A recently developed technique enabled him to sweep these gases out of the air space, then cool and concentrate them prior to analysis.

The analyses offer juice manufacturers an indication of the flavors they need to add back after processing. "Each time we come up with a new technique for analyzing [the flavor], we're much better off," says Robert L. Wade, an analytical chemist at Procter & Gamble Research Laboratories in Cincinnati.
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Title Annotation:using gas chromatography to find out how to make processed orange juice more like fresh
Author:Pennisi, Elizabeth
Publication:Science News
Date:Apr 27, 1991
Words:219
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