Identification of Aroma Composition and Key Odorants Contributing to Aroma Characteristics of White Teas.Molecules. 2020 Dec 21; 25(24)M
The identification of aroma composition and key odorants contributing to aroma characteristics of white tea is urgently needed, owing to white tea's charming flavors and significant health benefits. In this study, a total of 238 volatile components were identified in the three subtypes of white teas using headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) combined with comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC × GC-TOFMS). The multivariate statistical analysis demonstrated that the contents of 103 volatile compounds showed extremely significant differences, of which 44 compounds presented higher contents in Baihaoyinzhen and Baimudan, while the other 59 compounds exhibited higher contents in Shoumei. The sensory evaluation experiment carried out by gas chromatography-olfactometry/mass spectrometry (GC-O/MS) revealed 44 aroma-active compounds, of which 25 compounds were identified, including 9 alcohols, 6 aldehydes, 5 ketones, and 5 other compounds. These odorants mostly presented green, fresh, floral, fruity, or sweet odors. Multivariate analyses of chemical characterization and sensory evaluation results showed that high proportions of alcohols and aldehydes form the basis of green and fresh aroma characteristic of white teas, and phenylethyl alcohol, γ-Nonalactone, trans-β-ionone, trans-linalool oxide (furanoid), α-ionone, and cis-3-hexenyl butyrate were considered as the key odorants accounting for the different aroma characteristics of the three subtypes of white tea. The results will contribute to in-depth understand chemical and sensory markers associated with different subtypes of white tea, and provide a solid foundation for tea aroma quality control and improvement.