A survey of chemicals causing taints and off-flavours in food

  • M. J. Saxby


A taint or an off-flavour is caused by the presence of a chemical that imparts a flavour that is unacceptable in the food. This chapter surveys these taints, and includes a number of specific examples. It is possible to differentiate between a taint and an off-flavour by defining the former as the presence of a substance that is totally alien to all foods, and the latter as the chemical reaction of a naturally occurring component in the food, giving a compound with an undesirable taste. For instance, dimethyl trisulphide is a desirable flavour component of cooked cabbage but this same compound is most objectionable when found in red prawns (Whitfield et al., 1981). However, a disinfectant taste due to a chlorophenol is unacceptable in any foodstuff.


Hydrogen Sulphide Sorbic Acid Odour Threshold Potassium Sorbate Food Taint 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1996

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  • M. J. Saxby

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