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AOCS collaborative study on sensory and volatile compound analyses of vegetable oils

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An AOCS collaborative study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of sensory analysis and gas chromatographic analyses of volatile compounds in measuring vegetable oils for levels of oxidation that ranged from none to high. Sixteen laboratories from industry, government, and academia in Canada and the United States participated in the study to evaluate the flavor quality and oxidative stability of aged soybean, corn, sunflower, and canola (low-erucic acid rapeseed) oils. Analytical methods included sensory analyses with both flavor intensity and flavor quality scales and gas-chromatographic volatiles by direct injection, static headspace, and dynamic headspace (purge and trap) techniques. Sensory and volatile compound data were used to rank each of the oils at four levels of oxidation---none, low, moderate, and high. For soybean, canola, and sunflower oils, 85-90% of laboratories correctly ranked the oils by either analysis. For corn oil, only 60% of the laboratories ranked the samples according to the correct levels of oxidation by either analysis. Variance component estimates for flavor scores showed that the variation between sensory panelists within laboratories was lowest for the unaged oils. As storage time increased, the variance also increased, indicating that differences among panelists were greater for more highly oxidized oils. Between-laboratory variance of sensory panel scores was significantly lower than within-laboratory variance.
Warner, K. , Nelsen, T.
Includes references
Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society Feb 1996. v. 73 (2)
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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