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In the flavor and fragrance industry, heterocyclic compounds are of interest because of their varied occurrence in food flavors and their valuable organoleptic characteristics. Even though heterocyclic aroma chemicals are found only in minute amounts in foods, their powerful odors and low odor thresholds make them key in boosting flavors and fragrances.
The main heterocyclic aroma chemicals are oxygen-, sulfur- and nitrogencontaining rings. The oxygen-containing heterocyclic aroma chemicals belong to the oxirane, furan, pyran and oxepine groups. The sulfur-containing aroma chemicals belong to the thiophene family and, together with nitrogen, to the thiazole and dithiazine systems. Nitrogen-containing aroma chemicals belong to pyrrole, indole, pyridine, quinoline, pyrazine and quinoxaline systems and, together with sulfur, as mentioned above, the thiazole and dithiazine families. This article will describe the oxygen-containing heterocyclic aroma chemicals.
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