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Volatile aroma compounds and sensory characteristics of traditional banana wine “Urwagwa” of Rwanda

François Lyumugabe
Innocent Iyamarere
Michel Kayitare
Joseph Rutabayiro Museveni
Emmanuel Bajyana Songa


Urwagwa, produced mainly from the fermentation of banana juice, is the oldest and popular Rwandan traditional alcoholic beverage. In the present paper, the aroma profiles of Urwagwa wine samples collected from the districts of Rulindo and Ngoma were investigated. Headspace/ Solid-Phase Micro Extraction (HS- SPME) and gas chromatography - mass spectrometry (GC/MS) were applied for the analysis of volatile aroma compounds. Odour Active Values (OAVs) and sensory analysis were also performed to define the aromatic profile of Urwagwa wine. The findings showed that the aroma profiles of two types of Urwagwa wines analyzed were not significantly different. Forty eight volatile aroma compounds, including esters, higher alcohols, acids, terpenes, furan and phenol were identified and quantified in Urwagwa wines. Among them, ethyl caprylate, ethyl caproate, ethyl caprate, ethyl acetate, isoamyl acetate, ethyl acetate, ethyl butyrate, phenethyl acetate, phenethy alcohol, caprylic acid, 1-octanol and isovaleric acid exhibited OAVs ˃ 1, and are considered as the major contributors of aromatic character of Urwagwa wine; described as fruity, floral, banana, sweet and fatty notes. However, the overall aroma profiles of the  investigated Urwagwa wines were dominated by the fruity note due to the high amount of ethyl caprylate, ethyl caprate and ethyl caproate in this Rwandan traditional banana wine.

Keywords: Aroma compounds; Sensory analysis; Banana wine, Urwagwa

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2305-2678