Vicinal Diketones

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(VDKs) are a group of flavor components, most notably 2,3-butanedione (generally referred to as diacetyl) and 2,3-pentanedione. Sweet butter, caramel, or butterscotch flavors and aromas are characteristics of diacetyl, while pentanedione contributes more honey-like notes.

Sensory examination of an aroma model consisting of alcohols, fatty acids, esters and aldehydes, in concentrations estimated in whisky, has proved that— in addition to vicinal diketones—esters predominate as components influencing the aroma, but also some fatty acids exercise most marked influence. Further more, some people possess good ability to smell certain compounds whereas others cannot smell them as well, but detect other compounds more easily.

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