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In Southeast and East Asian countries, fish sauce has been used extensively as condiment in
cooking. This is due to the deep umami taste of fish sauce. Fish sauce is known by different names
according to the country, for example, bakasang in Indonesia, patis in The Philippines, yu-lu in China,
and nampla in Thailand . Budu is a traditional Malaysian fish sauce, normally used as condiment
and seasoning. This fish sauce is brown or dark brown in color and is made from a mixture of fish and
salt. The types of fish that are commonly used in Budu manufacturing are Stolephorus spp., Sardinella spp.
or Decaterus macrosoma . The fish and salt mixture is fermented in closed tanks at a temperature of
30–40 °C for several months, usually 6 to 12 . After the fermentation process, palm sugar, tamarind,
monosodium glutamate and flavoring compounds are added to the mixture. Then, the mixture is
boiled, filtered and packaged .
Budu is originally from the East Coast states of Malaysia and most of the Budu manufacturers are
located in Kelantan and Terengganu. Like fish sauces in other countries, Budu has a unique taste which
has been developed during the fermentation process. Enzymes that are present in fish together with
some halotolerant and halophile microorganisms induce the fermentation process that results in
hydrolysis of the fish proteins, that then produces free amino acids, peptides and ammonia. Budu is a
very good source of protein and contains a number of essential amino acids. Since Budu sauces have a
high salt concentration, the growth of pathogenic bacteria is under controlled and the salt results in the
typical “umami” taste and aroma .
The analyses of volatile compounds in fish sauce from different countries have been studied since a
decade ago by using different methods and sample preparations [5–7]. Flavor is a very important
characteristic since it is used to measure the quality of a fish sauce. However, no information on
volatile flavor compounds of Budu produced commercially, has been reported. Therefore, the aim of
this study is to identify the volatile compounds that contribute to the special aroma in Budu by using
Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS). In addition, we also determined the pH and salt
content of Budu.
Budu is a famous Malaysian fish sauce, usually used as seasoning and
condiment in cooking. Budu is produced by mixing fish and salt at certain ratio followed
by fermentation for six months in closed tanks. In this study, four commercial brands of
Budu were analyzed for their chemical properties (pH, salt content and volatile
compounds). The pH of Budu samples ranged from 4.50–4.92, while the salt (NaCl)
content ranged between 11.80% and 22.50% (w/v). For tentative identification of volatile
flavor compounds in Budu, two GC columns have been used, DB-WAX and HP-5MS. A
total of 44 volatile compounds have been detected and 16 were common for both columns.
3-Methyl-1-butanol, 2-methylbutanal, 3-methylbutanal, dimethyl disulfide, 3-(methylthio)-
propanal, 3-methylbutanoic acid and benzaldehye have been identified as the aroma-active
compounds in Budu due to their lower threshold values.
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