Algae as a Source of Natural Flavors in Innovative Foods

J Agric Food Chem. 2021 Oct 13;69(40):11753-11772. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.1c04409. Epub 2021 Oct 1.


As a result of their nutritive values, algae have been used as a food resource for centuries, and there is a growing interest to use them as enrichment ingredients in food products. However, food product acceptance by consumers is strongly linked to their organoleptic properties, especially the aroma, taste, and a combination of the two, flavor. With regard to edible algae, "fresh seashore", "seafood-like", "cucumber green", and "earthy" are descriptors commonly used to define their aromas. Several families of molecules participate in the diversity and peculiarities of algal aromas: pungent sulfur compounds and marine halogenated components but also herbaceous fatty acid derivatives and fruity-floral terpenoids. In both macroalgae (seaweeds) and microalgae, these compounds are studied from a chemistry point of view (identification and quantification) and a sensorial point of view, involving sensorial evaluation by panelists. As a whole food, a food ingredient, or a feed, algae are valued for their nutritional composition and their health benefits. However, because the acceptance of food by consumers is so strongly linked to its sensorial features, studies have been performed to explore the aromas of algae, their impact on food, their evolution through processing, and their ability to produce selected aromas using biotechnology. This review aims at highlighting algal aromas from seaweed and microalgae as well as their use, their handling, and their processing in the food industry.

Keywords: algae aromas; innovative food; microalgae; seaweed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Flavoring Agents
  • Odorants / analysis
  • Seaweed*
  • Taste*
  • Vegetables


  • Flavoring Agents