Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Food Science

Major Professor

John Munafo Jr.

Committee Members

John Munafo Jr, Curtis Luckett, Tao Wu


New and unique approaches to developing healthy foods with appealing aroma and taste are crucial in encouraging consumer adoption of nutritious diets, specifically in the reduction of sodium intake and in improving nutritional quality of the global food supply. Accordingly, interest has significantly increased in the development of flavors that increase consumer appeal and preference for low sodium foods. Gas chromatography-olfactometry (GC-O), coupled with stable isotope dilution assays (SIDA) and sensory experiments, led to the identification of the odorants responsible for an enhancement in perceived saltiness perception of a low-sodium chicken broth prepared with thermally treated enzymatically hydrolyzed mushroom protein (eHMP) and cysteine and reacted under kitchen like cooking conditions. Comparative aroma extract dilution analysis (cAEDA) of thermally treated eHMP, with and without the addition of cystine, revealed 36 odorants with flavor dilution (FD) factors between a range of 1–256. In this study, sixteen of these odorants were further quantitated and odor activity values (OAVs) for these odorants were calculated. The key odorants generated during thermal treatment with cysteine were identified as 2-furfurylthiol (coffee, OAV 610.4), 2-(1-mercaptoethyl)furan (meaty, OAV 78.2), 3–mercapto-2-pentanone (catty, OAV 41.9), sotolon (maple, OAV 20.2), indole (animal, OAV 7.6), 2-methyl-3-(methyldithio)furan (meaty, OAV 3.4), and p-cresol (barnyard, OAV 1.3). An odor simulation model was generated based on the quantitative data that successfully mimicked the aroma of the eHMP with cysteine. A large consumer sensory study (n = 96) confirmed that the addition of the aroma simulation model to a low sodium chicken broth increased the perceived saltiness of the broth (p = 0.020).


Portions of this document were published in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry.

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