Multicomponent essential oils Tagetes Minuta and Poleo as well as pure limonene were encapsulated in Tween doped-high methoxylated pectin gels. Optical microscopy reveals that the obtained gels containing limonene consisted in a highly heterogeneous oil-in-water emulsion stabilised by the gelled medium. The influence of limonene encapsulation in pectin gelation kinetics and the gel structural properties were followed by dynamic rheological measurements. An electronic nose device developed in our laboratory was used to follow the flavour release of the three systems in order to discriminate the samples according to the main components released to the headspace. PCA and Neural Network Analysis allowed us to discriminate Tagetes Minuta from Poleo due to the difference in their limonene content. It is remarkable that the fingerprints of encapsulated complex mixtures differ from those obtained for the non-encapsulated oils, showing a preferential release of some components. In the case of limonene, the effect of the encapsulated concentration on the detected odour was also studied.
Keywords: electronic nose, artificial neural networks, principal component analysis, flavour release, gels, rheology
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