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J Agric Food Chem. 1999 Apr;47(4):1619-25.

Effect of the polyunsaturated fatty acid composition of beef muscle on the profile of aroma volatiles.

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Department of Food Science and Technology, The University of Reading, Whiteknights, United Kingdom.


The effect of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in beef muscle on the composition of the aroma volatiles produced during cooking was measured. The meat was obtained from groups of steers fed different supplementary fats: (i) a palm-oil-based control; (ii) bruised whole linseed, which increased muscle levels of alpha-linolenic (C18:3 n-3) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, C20:5 n-3); (iii) fish oil, which increased EPA and docosahexaenoic acid (C22:6 n-3); (iv) equal quantities of linseed and fish oil. Higher levels of lipid oxidation products were found in the aroma extracts of all of the steaks with increased PUFA content, after cooking. In particular, n-alkanals, 2-alkenals, 1-alkanols, and alkylfurans were increased up to 4-fold. Most of these compounds were derived from the autoxidation of the more abundant mono- and di-unsaturated fatty acids during cooking, and such autoxidation appeared to be promoted by increased levels of PUFAs.

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