Flavour profile and sensory characteristics of plant-based milk alternatives

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Plant-based milk alternatives (PBMAs) are a rapidly expanding area in the development category of newer food products throughout the world. One of the factors that limit plant- based milk alternatives’ utilization as a main substitute for cow’s milk is their flavour and/or functional qualities. The flavour of these milk alternatives should meet consumers’ expectations and preferences, hence assessing the sensory characteristics of plant-based milk alternatives is a very important method to evaluate plant-based milk alternatives quality. In order to preserve milk quality and properly distinguish acceptable and unfavourable attributes, processors must be aware of plant-based milk alternatives aroma in terms of both sensory and volatile compounds. Initially, volatile flavour compounds are the most important quality indicators in PBMAs. The objective of this review was to investigate the volatile and aroma compounds, as well as the sensory characteristics of PBMAs from different research papers. Volatiles compounds of 10 soy milks, 1 peanut milk, 4 almond milks and 5 coconut milks were collected from different papers and compared to find differences and similarities. The results show that each of these PBMAs have different volatile compounds; however, because not all of the PBMA volatile profiles was supported by sensory analysis, it remains to be investigated if this has an impact on their overall flavour and quality.