Characterization of the Volatile Composition of Fermented Ciders Made From Dessert Apple Cultivars With and Without Maceration

Yanxin Lin, Michele R. Warmund, Misha T. Kwasniewski

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Cider is often produced from difficult-to-grow heirloom apple cultivars not commonly produced in North America. As such, the value of widely grown dessert apples for fermented cider was explored, with ciders produced from eleven cultivars analyzed. Additionally, the practice of maceration, or fermentation with pomace, was also investigated. Volatile compounds were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Raw mass spectrometry (MS) data was then followed by an initial untargeted statistical analysis. Principal component analysis of the MS features demonstrated clear separation between cultivars and between maceration effects, prompting further investigation into the compounds impacting cultivar and maceration discrimination. The aroma-active compounds identified are known to elicit sensorial responses often described as sweet, fruity, and floral. Some compounds have been previously identified as primarily apple-derived. While esters and higher alcohols, originating from yeast metabolic activities, were also identified as contributing factors of the observed differences. Despite these compounds being impacted by yeast metabolism, they were highly influenced by cultivar and treatment, indicating apple-derived precursors were, in part, influencing the yeast-mediated aroma differences. ‘Galaxy Gala’ cider samples had the highest overall intensities of quantified volatiles in both years, driven by high eugenol and 1-butanol concentrations. Extended apple pomace maceration did not induce new aromas but increased the content of some compounds. Maceration impact was cultivar dependent, e.g., ethyl 2-methylbutyrate in the ‘Yataka Fuji’ increased 14-fold with maceration but less in other cultivars. This work demonstrates that dessert apples produce ciders with a diversity of aromas that may be further increased via maceration and are worth consideration by producers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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