Soy sauces, produced from different ingredients and brewing processes, have variations in components and quality. Therefore, it is extremely important to comprehend the relationship between components and the sensory attributes of soy sauces. The current study sought to perform metabolite profiling in order to devise a method of assessing the attributes of soy sauces. Quantitative descriptive analysis (QDA) data for 24 soy sauce samples were obtained from well selected sensory panelists. Metabolite profiles primarily concerning low-molecular-weight hydrophilic components were based on gas chromatography with time-of-flightmass spectrometry (GC/TOFMS). QDA data for soy sauces were accurately predicted by projection to latent structure (PLS), with metabolite profiles serving as explanatory variables and QDA data set serving as a response variable. Moreover, analysis of correlation between matrices of metabolite profiles and QDA data indicated contributing compounds that were highly correlated with QDA data. Especially, it was indicated that sugars are important components of the tastes of soy sauces. This new approach which combines metabolite profiling with QDA is applicable to analysis of sensory attributes of food as a result of the complex interaction between its components. This approach is effective to search important compounds that contribute to the attributes.
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