The aroma properties of fish broths prepared from 16 fish species (10 saltwater, three freshwater, two anadromous and one brackish water species) were described quantitatively by reference to 10 sensory attributes. Principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis of sensory attributes classified the fish into four groups. Group 1, characterised by a strong ‘green’ odour, comprised all three freshwater species (loach, pond smelt and carp), two saltwater whitefish species (snapper and conger) and eel. Group 2 included migratory coastal species (sardine, banded blue-sprat and mackerel) and was distinguished by strong ‘fish oil’ and ‘grilled fish’ notes. Group 3 consisted of swordfish, sablefish and salmon, which exhibited a strong ‘fried chicken’ note. Group 4 included flounder, cod, tuna and goby, which were scored high for ‘cooked fish’, ‘roasted soy sauce’, ‘canned tuna’ and ‘sweet’ aromas. Partial least squares regression (PLSR) models derived from selected influential peaks in the gas chromatograms of the volatile components in the broths for each attribute were highly predictive (R2 ≥ 0.936). The selected peaks corresponded well to each sensory attribute.
© 2003 Society of Chemical Industry