Soybean oil is one of the most widely consumed vegetable oils. However, under photooxidative conditions, this oil develops a beany and green off-odor through a mechanism that has not yet been elucidated. Upon photooxidation, 3-methyl-2,4-nonanedione (3-MND) produces a strong aroma. In this study, the effect of furan fatty acids and 3-MND on odor reversion in soybean oil was investigated. Our findings suggest that the observed light-induced off-odor was likely attributable to the furan fatty acids present in the oil through the generation of 3-MND. While 3-MND may not be directly responsible for the development of light-induced off-odor, this compound appears to be involved because off-odor was detected in canola oil samples containing added 3-MND. In addition, in the present work, 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-2,4-nonanedione, which is derived from 3-MND, was identified for the first time in light-exposed soybean oil and shown to be one of the compounds responsible for odor reversion.
Keywords: 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-2,4-nonanedione; 3-methyl-2,4-nonanedione; furan fatty acids; light-induced off-odor; soybean oil.