Nine samples of Asturias cider have been analyzed for volatile, olfactometric, and sensorial profiles. The aromatic composition was mainly constituted by fusel alcohols and ethyl esters. Among the minor volatile compounds, fatty acids, volatile phenols, and alcohols were the main components. The olfactometric analysis revealed the existence of 55 aromatic areas, exhibiting a wide range of intensities. Components like amyl alcohols, 2-phenylethanol, ethyl esters such as 2-methylbutyrate, hexanoate and octanoate, hexanoic and octanoic acids 2-phenylethyl acetate, 4-ethyl guaiacol, and 4-ethyl phenol could be considered as being part of the structure of cider aroma. The extract dilution analysis of one extract identified 2 volatile phenols (4-ethyl guaiacol and 4-ethyl phenol) among the most powerful odorants in cider. These components gave significant correlations with the sensory attributes sweet, spicy, and lees.
Although cider is a popular and worldwide beverage, only a few and partial studies have been focused to the knowledge of its aromatic composition. However, the characteristic aroma profile of cider suggests that some concepts relating high contents of volatile phenols or acetic acid with sensory defects should be revised in the case of this beverage.