The headspace of eight Algerian date varieties with low market value were analyzed for their aroma compounds using solid phase micro extraction and gas chromatography combined with mass spectrometry. In this study, 61 identified compounds were categorized in various chemical classes on the basis of their functional groups, alcohols, esters, aldehydes, terpenoids, ketones, hydrocarbons, and ethers. Twenty specific volatiles were found to be representative of a single variety and four shared molecules were exclusively observed in all the studied dates. Some dates such as Bent Qbala, Litima, and Timjouhart were statistically different from the other varieties which presented on the contrary a significant similarity between them. In the present study, forty eight new volatile compounds were identified which could be useful for the characterization of the Algerian dates.
Key words: Date fruit, Algerian varieties, aroma, solid phase microextraction.
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