This unique ingredient can find good use in citrus, as well as a
surprisingly wide range of non-citrus profiles.
John Wright; firstname.lastname@example.org
Although decanal (FEMA# 2362, CAS# 112-31-2) is a vitally important contributor to the
character of sweet orange peel oil, and
virtually all compounded orange flavors,
the aldehydic profile of this molecule
used alone does not ring quite true—
it is far too simplistic. The aldehydic
profile it generates is distinctly too
one-dimensional. Adding the other
saturated aldehydes found in orange,
such as octanal (FEMA# 2797, CAS#
124-13-0), creates some complexity
and improves the situation a little, but
much of the problem still remains. To
fully solve the problem we need to look
toward decanal’s unsaturated relatives.
We have already considered the
helpful role that can be played by
trans-2-decenal (FEMA# 2366, CAS#
3913-81-3)a. This molecule can certainly
add interesting further complexity, but
the most important and useful unsaturated derivative of decanal that is found
naturally in orange oil is 4-decenal
(FEMA# 3264). This chemical is commercially available in both cis (CAS#
21662-09-9) and trans (CAS# 65405-
70-1) forms. The two molecules smell
undeniably similar: citrus and aldehydic,
with notable power and freshness. In my
opinion, the cis form has a slight edge,
with a fresher, more natural profile.
The most obvious area of application
is in citrus flavors, especially orange, but
this unique ingredient can also find good
use in a surprisingly wide range of non-citrus profiles.
The dose rates given throughout this
article are the levels suggested for use in
flavors that are intended to be dosed at
0.05% in a ready-to-drink beverage or in
a simple bouillon.
Orange: The ideal level of use can vary
somewhat depending on the type of
character that is desired; slightly higher
levels work very well in peely flavors,
and lower levels are probably preferable
in more juicy flavors. A level of 10 ppm
is a good starting point.
Grapefruit: The same variations in
respect of use rate and profile apply to
grapefruit flavors, and the only difference is that the best starting point is a
little lower, around 8 ppm.
Yuzu: A level of 8 ppm of cis-4-de-
cenal adds impact and freshness to yuzu
flavors and helps cut down on the need
to make use of the prohibitively expensive natural essential oil.
Mandarin and tangerine: A slightly
subtler addition works best in both mandarin and tangerine flavors, with similar
caveats to orange in respect of peely and
juicy profiles. A level of 5 ppm is a good
place to start.
Lemon and lime: In both lemon and
expressed lime citrus profiles the ideal
level of use is quite low, around 2 ppm,
but this is enough to noticeably add to
the impression of freshness.
Chicken: cis-4-Decenal is not the main
fatty molecule in chicken flavors, but it
nevertheless forms an important part
of the overall profile and specifically
contributes to the impression of white
rather than dark meat. The best level of
addition is very dependent on the character that is desired, but 30 ppm is a reasonable starting point.
Bacon: Bacon flavors can tend to be
very unpleasantly simplistic, depending overmuch on dithiazines, but they
always have an interesting aldehydic fatty component. A similar level,
around 30 ppm, can also be good in
Beef: Levels can also vary in beef
flavors, higher in roast and grilled flavors
and lower in stewed flavors, but they are
generally much lower than in chicken
and bacon, around 10 ppm.
Lamb: A level of 10 ppm is also a
good level of use in most cooked lamb
and mutton flavors, adding a welcome
contrast and brightening effect to the
dominant fatty nuances.
Rice: Rice flavors are often so simple
that they can appear to be centered
around just one ingredient, and the use
aRead more about the use of trans-2-decenal in
flavors in John Wright’s “Flavor Bites: trans-2-
Decenal” on Page 34 of the November 2010 issue
of P&F; www.perfumerflavorist.com/magazine/