Identification of Characterizing Aroma Components of Roasted Chicory "Coffee" Brews

J Agric Food Chem. 2019 Dec 18;67(50):13848-13859. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.9b00776. Epub 2019 Apr 22.


The roasted and ground root of the chicory plant (Cichorium intybus), often referred to as chicory coffee, has served as a coffee surrogate for well over 2 centuries and is still in common use today. Volatile components of roasted chicory brews were identified by direct solvent extraction and solvent-assisted flavor evaporation (SAFE) combined with gas chromatography-olfactometry (GC-O), aroma extract dilution analysis (AEDA), and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). A total of 46 compounds were quantitated by stable isotope dilution analysis (SIDA) and internal standard methods, and odor-activity values (OAVs) were calculated. On the basis of the combined results of AEDA and OAVs, rotundone was considered to be the most potent odorant in roasted chicory. On the basis of their high OAVs, additional predominant odorants included 3-hydroxy-4,5-dimethyl-2(5H)-furanone (sotolon), 2-methylpropanal, 3-methylbutanal, 2,3-dihydro-5-hydroxy-6-methyl-4H-pyran-4-one (dihydromaltol), 1-octen-3-one, 2-ethyl-3,5-dimethylpyrazine, 4-hydroxy-2,5-dimethyl-3(2H)-furanone (HDMF), and 3-hydroxy-2-methyl-4-pyrone (maltol). Rotundone, with its distinctive aromatic woody, peppery, and "chicory-like" note was also detected in five different commercial ground roasted chicory products. The compound is believed to an important, distinguishing, and characterizing odorant in roasted chicory aroma. Collectively, a group of caramel- and sweet-smelling odorants, including dihydromaltol, cyclotene, maltol, HDMF, and sotolon, are also thought to be important aroma contributors to roasted chicory aroma.

Keywords: aroma; aroma extract dilution analysis; flavor; roasted chicory; stable isotope dilution analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Chicory / chemistry*
  • Flavoring Agents / chemistry*
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Odorants / analysis*
  • Olfactometry
  • Plant Preparations / chemistry*
  • Plant Roots / chemistry
  • Volatile Organic Compounds / chemistry*


  • Flavoring Agents
  • Plant Preparations
  • Volatile Organic Compounds