Flavor Characterization of Traditional Fermented Soybean Pastes from Northeast China and Korea

Foods. 2023 Sep 1;12(17):3294. doi: 10.3390/foods12173294.

Abstract

This study compares the physicochemical properties, taste, and volatile compounds of Northeastern Chinese dajiang (C) and Korean doenjang (K) and distinguishes the discriminant volatile metabolites between them. The result revealed that compared to group C, group K exhibited more similar physicochemical properties and had lower pH, moisture, and amino acid nitrogen content, while demonstrating higher titratable acidity, salt content, and reduced sugar content. The electronic tongue analysis showed that the saltiness and umami of soybean pastes had high response values, enabling clear differentiation of the overall taste between the two types of soybean pastes. A total of 71 volatile substances from the soybean pastes were identified through solid-phase microextraction gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Furthermore, orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis revealed 19 volatile compounds as differentially flavored metabolites. Our study provides a basis for explaining the differences in flavor difference of Northeastern Chinese dajiang and Korean doenjang from the perspective of volatile metabolites.

Keywords: SPME-GC-MS; chemometrics; electronic tongue; soybean paste; volatile compounds.