Flavor release from food matrices depends on the partition of volatile flavor compounds between the food matrix and the vapor phase. Thus, we herein investigated the relationship between released flavor concentrations and three different partition coefficients, namely octanol-water, octanol-air, and water-air, which represented the oil, water, and air phases present in emulsions. Limonene, 2-methylpyrazine, nonanal, benzaldehyde, ethyl benzoate, α-terpineol, benzyl alcohol, and octanoic acid were employed. The released concentrations of these flavor compounds from oil-in-water (O/W) emulsions were measured under equilibrium using static headspace gas chromatography. The results indicated that water-air and octanol-air partition coefficients correlated with the logarithms of the released concentrations in the headspace for highly lipophilic flavor compounds. Moreover, the same tendency was observed over various oil volume ratios in the emulsions. Our findings therefore suggest that octanol-air and water-air partition coefficients can be used to predict the released concentration of lipophilic flavor compounds from O/W emulsions.
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