Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) is one of the most important harvested wild berries in Finland. However, only a small amount of berries is used by the food industry. The intense, sour or even bitter flavour is one of the hindrances for wider use of lingonberries. In this study, lingonberries were bioprocessed with enzymes, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) or yeast, or their combination. The impact of bioprocessing on lingonberry flavour was studied by sensory evaluation and chemical analysis.
It was found that bioprocessing affected perceived flavour and chemical composition of lingonberries. Sweetness was associated especially with enzyme treatment but also with enzyme + LAB treatment. Yeast fermentation caused significant changes in volatile aroma compounds and perceived flavour, whereas minor changes were detected in the LAB or enzyme-treated berries. Increased concentration of organic acids, ethanol and some phenolic acids correlated with perceived fermented odour/flavour in yeast fermentations, in which increase in benzoic acid level was significant. In enzymatic treatment decreasing anthocyanins correlated well with decreased perceived colour intensity.
Fermentation and enzymatic treatment are possible bioprocessing pathways to modify lingonberry flavour, and thus they could enhance the use of lingonberries in food and beverage product formulation. Enzyme treatment was the most potent processing method to modify lingonberry flavour, as it increased sweetness of this naturally very acidic berry. Yeast fermentation resulted in fermented odour and off-flavour. Fermented berries, on the other hand, contained higher levels of phenolic compounds, which could give extra health advantages to the products, and also as natural preservatives, could increase preservation of food and beverage products.
For more information:
Viljanen K, Heiniö R-L, Juvonen R, Kössö T, Puupponen-Pimiä R. Relation of sensory perception with chemical composition of bioprocessed lingonberry. Food Chemistry 2014.