Because of its rich perfume and distinct sweetness, the wild strawberry is even more treasured than its store-bought counterpart. However, because they’re difficult to come by in the wild, several corporations have created synthetic copies of this flavor.
Researchers from the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry have created a naturally derived wild strawberry scent using leftovers from black currant juice production and an edible fungus.
Wild strawberries are smaller than farmed variety and often found in woodlands, but they’re packed with taste. And, because of their scarcity and small size, incorporating a natural wild strawberry flavor that combines their particular aroma and taste into meals is costly.
Interestingly, some fungi, such as vanillin, raspberry ketone, and benzaldehyde, an almond-like flavor, are capable of transforming plant material into pleasant odor molecules. Wolfiporia cocos, a type of delicious brown-rot fungus, can break down a wide range of foods, including tea and carrot peels, and emit fruity and floral smells in the process.
The black currant juice industry, which produces a lot of pulp, seed, and skin debris known as pomace that is generally thrown away, could provide an abundant and nutrient-rich substrate for the fungus.
As a result, Holger Zorn and colleagues planned to grow W. cocos on black currant pomace and alter the circumstances to naturally produce the distinct aroma associated with wild strawberries, which is highly sought after by the food sector.
The researchers first grew W. cocos only on black currant pomace, which produced fruity and floral fragrances. The culture emitted an odour comparable to wild strawberries when the scientists added ammonium nitrate, sodium L-aspartate monohydrate, monopotassium phosphate, and a few other compounds to the medium.
The researchers employed gas chromatography-mass spectrometry-olfactometry (GC-MS-O) and 10 trained panelists to pinpoint the individual chemicals that contributed to the aroma. (R)-linalool, methyl anthranilate, geraniol, and 2-aminobenzaldehyde were the most potent scents detected by the sensory panel.
The researchers then blended artificial versions of these four components to create a model wild strawberry odor, which sensory experts judged as being highly similar to the cultured fungus’s wild strawberry-like odor.
The researchers claim to have created a sustainable and cost-effective approach to manufacture an aroma that might be utilized industrially as a natural flavoring ingredient by cultivating W. cocos on food waste.
The authors gratefully acknowledge financing from the Hessian Ministry of Higher Education, Research, and the Arts’ Hessian Initiative for Scientific and Economic Excellence (LOEWE).