The application of essential oil vapors at the end of vacuum cooling of fresh culinary herbs promotes aromatic recovery

Ginés Benito Martínez-Hernández*, Amaury Taboada-Rodríguez, Alberto Garre, Fulgencio Marín-Iniesta, Antonio López-Gómez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Aroma is an important quality parameter of fresh culinary herbs that may be highly affected after postharvest treatments. The innovative technology of vapor essential oil (EO) application under vacuum conditions may recover aroma lost during the postharvest processing of plant products like aromatic herbs. Hence, this study assessed the aroma recovery effect of vapor EOs applied during vacuum cooling on curly parsley and dill. The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) profiles of these aromatic herbs were studied by static headspace solid-phase microextraction (SPME), and the VOCs sorption kinetics onto the SPME stir-bar coating were modeled by the Baranyi model. At the pilot plant scale, the total VOCs contents of parsley and dill (whose extractability was increased by 10–20% after a single vacuum process) were enhanced by 4.5-and 2-fold, respectively, when vapor EOs were applied. In particular, 1,3,8-p-menthatriene and carvone (parsley) increased by 18.7-and 7.3-fold, respectively, while dill ether (the characteristic VOC of dill) augmented by 2.4-fold after vapor EOs were applied under vacuum conditions. The aroma recovery of culinary herbs was successfully validated at an industrial level in an installation developed by our group to apply vapor EOs within a vacuum cooling system, reaching total VOC recoveries of 4.9-and 2.3-fold in parsley and dill, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number498
Pages (from-to)1-17
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2021


  • Aromatic herbs
  • Basil
  • Dill
  • Parsley
  • Quality
  • SPME
  • Vacuum cooling
  • Vapor EOs
  • VOCs


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