Sensory thresholds for natural flavoring extracts in different matrices


  • Maruj Limpawattana Department of Food Technology, Faculty of Science, Siam University, Bangkok 10160, Thailand


detection thresholds, flavoring extract, sensory, matrix, three-alternative forced choice


The information on sensory odor thresholds is of importance for food industry as necessary guidelines for the proper use of flavoring agents in food products that do not exceed an adequate perception.  The objective of this study was to determine the best estimate threshold (BET) for detection of four commercial natural flavoring extracts (vanilla, almond, mint and lemon) in various matrices, i.e. water, sucrose solution, and pasteurized milk.  Using the forced-choice ascending concentration method of limits (ASTM: E-679) with 8-trained sensory panelists and the general population (n=375), the mean BET for each extract evaluated by general population in the same matrix was higher than that done by the trained panel.  Odor thresholds of each extract varied from a low concentration of 0.01 µg/l for mint in water, to a high concentration of 118.89 µg/l for almond in pasteurized milk.  In addition, matrix effects of natural extracts were observed among medium of evaluation, which can considerably influence the odor perception.  Analysis of variance by Friedman ranking test revealed that there were significant differences in odor thresholds among flavoring extracts and media of evaluation (p<0.05).


Adhikari, K., Hein, A. K., Elmore, R. J., Heymann, H., & Willott, M. A. (2006). Flavor thresholds as affected by interaction among three dairy-related flavor compounds. Journal of Sensory Studies, 21(6), 626-643. DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-459X.2006.00087.x

ASTM. (1997). Standard Practice Designation E 679-91. Philadelphia, USA: American Society for Testing and Materials, pp. 34-38.

Cliff, M. A., & Pickering, G. J. (2006). Determination of odor detection thresholds for acetic acid and ethyl acetate in ice wines. Journal of Wine Research, 17(1), 45-52.

Filho, T. L., Lucia, S. M. D., Scolforo, C. Z., Lima, R. M., Carneiro, J. C. S., Pinheiro, C. J. G., Passamai, J. L., Jr., Minim, V. P. R. (2014). Consumer rejection threshold for strawberry radiation doses. Innovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies, 23, 194-198. DOI:10.1016/j.ifset.2014.01.012

Godshall, M. A. (1997). How carbohydrates influence food flavor. Food Technology, 51(1), 63-67.

Grosch, W. (2001). Evaluation of the key odorants of foods by dilution experiments, aroma models and omission. Chemical Senses, 26(5), 533-545.

Hansen, A. P., & Heinis, J. J. (1991). Decrease of vanillin flavor perception in the presence of casein and whey proteins, Journal of Dairy Science, 74(9), 2936-2940. DOI:10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(91)78477-4

Hollowood, T. A., Linforth, R. S. T., & Taylor, A. J. (2002). The effect of viscosity on the perception of flavor, Chemical Senses, 27(7), 583-591.

Kuehl, R. O. (2000). Design of Experiments: Statistical Principles of Research Design and Analysis (2nd ed.). Pacific Grove, CA, USA: Duxbury Press.

Kuhn, J., Considine, T., & Singh, H. (2006). Interactions of milk proteins and volatile flavor compounds: Implications in the development of protein foods, Journal of Food Science, 71(5), R72-R82. DOI: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2006.00051.x

Lim, J. & Lawless, H. T. (2006). Detection thresholds and taste qualities of iron salts. Food Quality and Preference, 17(6), 513-521. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2005.06.006

McGorrin, R. J. (1996). Introduction. In R.J. McGorrin, and J.V. Leland (Eds.), Flavor-Foods Interactions (pp.9-12). ACS Symposium Series 633, Washington DC, USA: American Chemical Society.

Meilgaard, M., Civille, G. V., & Carr, B. T. (2007). Sensory Evaluation Technique (4th ed.). Boca Raton, Florida, USA: CRC Press.

O’Mahony, M. (1986). Sensory Evaluation of Food: Statistical Methods and Procedures. New York, USA: Marcel Dekker.

Plotto, A., Margaria, C. A., Goodner, K. L., Goodrich, R., & Baldwin, E. A. (2004). Odor and flavor thresholds for key aroma components in an orange juice matrix: Terpenes and aldehydes. Flavour and Fragrance Journal, 19(6), 491-498.

Santos, J. P., Lozano, J., Aleixandre, M., Arroyo, T., Cabellos, J. M., Gil, M., & Horrillo, M. C. (2010). Threshold detection of aromatic compounds in wine with an electronic nose and a human sensory panel. Talanta, 80(5), 1899-1906.

Santos, M. V., Ma, Y., Caplan, Z., & Barbano, D. M. (2003). Sensory threshold of off-flavors caused by proteolysis and lipolysis in milk. Journal of Dairy Science, 86, 1601-1607.

Schirle-Keller, J. P., Reineccius, G. A., & Hatchwell, L. C. (1994). Flavor interactions with fat replacers: effect of oil level, Journal of Food Science, 59(4), 813-815. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2621.1994.tb08134.x

Tandon, K. S., Baldwin, E. A., & Shewfelt, R. L. (2000). Aroma perception of individual volatile compounds in fresh tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum, mill.) as affected by the medium of evaluation. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 20(3), 261-268.

Teranishi, R., Buttery, R. G., Stern, D. J., & Takeoka, G. (1991). Use of odor thresholds in aroma research. Lebensmittel-Wissenschaft und-Technologie, 24(1), 1-5.

van Gemert, L. J. (2003). Compilations of odour threshold values in air, water and other media (2nd ed.). Utrecht, The Netherlands: Oliemans Punter & Partners BV.




How to Cite

Maruj Limpawattana. (2023). Sensory thresholds for natural flavoring extracts in different matrices. Journal of Current Science and Technology, 5(1), 13–18. Retrieved from



Research Article