Shuhaimi Mustafa - Tentative Identification of Volatile Flavor Compounds in Commercial Budu, a Malaysian Fish Sauce, Using GC-MS

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  1. Introduction

  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 [1]. 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 [2]. The fish and salt mixture is   fermented in closed tanks at a temperature of

  30–40 °C for several months, usually 6 to 12 [1]. 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 [3].

  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 [4].

  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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