Quantification of aroma compounds in Parmigiano Reggiano cheese by a dynamic headspace gas chromatography-mass spectrometry technique and calculation of odor activity value

J Dairy Sci. 2003 Mar;86(3):770-6. doi: 10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(03)73658-3.


Potentially important aroma compounds in Parmigiano Reggiano cheese were quantified. Free fatty acids were isolated with ion-exchange chromatography and quantified by gas chromatography. Neutral aroma compounds were quantified with a purge-trap/gas chromatography-mass spectrometry with selective mass ion technique. Odor activity values were calculated based on sensory thresholds reported in literature. The calculated odor activity values suggest that 3-methylbutanal, 2-methylpropanal, 2-methylbutanal, dimethyl trisulfide, diacetyl, methional, phenylacetaldehyde, ethyl butanoate, ethyl hexanoate, ethyl octanoate, acetic, butanoic, hexanoic, and octanoic acids are the most important aroma contributors to Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aldehydes / analysis
  • Cheese / analysis*
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Chromatography, Ion Exchange
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / analysis
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Odorants / analysis*


  • Aldehydes
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified