Impact of toasting on oak wood aroma: creation of an oak wood aroma wheel

The impact of toasting process to produce aroma from oak wood intrinsic composition is well documented. It is admitted that such complexity contribute to the wine quality after barrel ageing. Despite our knowledge on the molecular identification of aroma impact compounds of oak wood, little research have been carried out, on a sensory level, on the aroma diversity of toasted oak wood. For this reason, this work aims at creating an aroma wheel to describe and categorize the complexity of aroma descriptors based on a lexical analysis. In a first experiment, a free association task was conducted to identify individual mental representations of oak wood samples. For that, a panel (13 persons from Seguin Moreau cooperage and wine makers) was selected to write down, via an online survey, the descriptors that come to mind to describe oak wood aroma according to a specific toasting intensity (non-toasted or toasted at 160 °C, 180 °C or 240 °C for 30 min). Data obtained were analyzed according to a semantic analysis to determine citation frequency of each descriptor. Synonyms or descriptors linked to the same lexical field were gathered, reducing the number of descriptors from 215 to 83. Citation frequencies were evaluated in order to identify the most relevant descriptors used by the panel (f>0.02). After that, a categorization of samples and descriptors was performed to highlight sensory boundaries among them. Samples categorization was performed by a correspondence analysis (AFC) applied to citation frequencies while words categorization was achieved by a sorting using a consensus approach. Finally, seven main descriptors were obtained, allowing distinguish oak wood samples depending on their toasting intensity: non-toasted oak wood was categorize with ‘fresh wood’ and ‘vegetable’ descriptors while highly toasted oak wood was categorize with ‘roasting’, ‘spices’ and ‘smoked’ descriptors, for example. Subsequently, a conventional profiling was performed by a trained panel (13 persons from the laboratory team) on oak wood samples (different toasting process). ANOVA analysis revealed the relevance of defined descriptors to describe oak wood aroma during its toasting. This work permits to purpose a visual tool to describe oak wood aroma. It provides specific terminology to describe the sensory changes during toasting process. This aroma wheel is intended to meet academic and professional needs for the quality assessment of oak wood aroma based on sensory analysis.

Presenting author: Marie Courregelongue – UMR ŒNOLOGIE (OENO), ISVV, UMR 1366, Université de Bordeaux, INRAE, Bordeaux INP, Villenave d’Ornon, France & Tonnellerie Seguin Moreau, Merpins, France

Additionnal authors: Andrei Prida | Tonnellerie Seguin Moreau, Merpins, France, Alexandre Pons | UMR ŒNOLOGIE (OENO), ISVV, UMR 1366, Université de Bordeaux, INRAE, Bordeaux INP, Villenave d’Ornon, France & Tonnellerie Seguin Moreau, Merpins, France


Keywords: oak wood, toasting process, sensory approach, aroma wheel

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