Carolina Muñoz González

Carolina Muñoz González

AgreenSkills session, year: 2nd session, 2014

Receiving laboratory: CSGA Centre for Taste, Food and Nutrition Sciences Dijon, France

Country of origin : United Kingdom




Mobility project

Understanding the role of salivary mucosal proteins on aroma perception in elderly population and, particularly, in elderly population suffering from xerostomia.

Flavour perception is a key factor driving food consumption. This process is influenced not only by the chemical composition of the food, but also by physiological factors. Among them, the effect of salivary proteins is increasingly considered.

The present project aims to elucidate the molecular basis of salivary proteins into aroma perception. In particular, the project is focused on the study of elderly population suffering or not from hyposalivation (xerostomia). Indeed, people suffering from xerostomia have been reported to have a higher threshold in aroma perception. The use of an original model of mucosa, together with the coupling of the most advanced analytical and sensory methodologies (TDS, PTR-MS) will allow the achievement of the project’s goal: to propose a strategy for the formulation of food products better adapted to elderly suffering xerostomia.

Biography & research interests

Over the past twelve years, I have developed a high interest in the food research area. In 2003, I started my studies in Human Nutrition and Dietetics, followed by the Degree in Food Science and Technology. Before I graduated, I was awarded a fellowship at the Coca-Cola Company, and after that I was offered a position as Research Assistant at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). These experiences increased my interest in research and made me begin my PhD at CSIC. During my thesis, I researched the influence of wine matrix composition on aroma release, showing that this effect is strongly affected by individual oro-physiological parameters. During this period I successfully overcame many challenges, since my PhD opened a new area of research within my research group and I had to set up all the novel methodologies that I employed throughout my thesis. I also performed a predoctoral stay at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) in Dijon (France), where I had the enriching opportunity to personally learn from some of the most relevant researches in the Flavour area. Immediately after finishing my thesis, I was offered a position as Flavour Scientist at Mondelēz International, one of the world’s largest snacks companies. Therefore, I moved from Madrid (Spain) to Reading (United Kingdom), where I am currently developing analytical methods to better understand flavour perception.

Selected publications

1-C. Muñoz-González, C. Cueva, M. A. Pozo-Bayón, M. V. Moreno-Arribas. (2015). Ability of human oral microbiota to produce wine odorant aglycones from odorless grape glycosidic aroma precursors. Food Chemistry Food Chemistry, 187, 112–119.

2-C. Muñoz-González, G. Feron, E. Guichard, J. J. Rodríguez-Bencomo, P. J. Martín-Álvarez, M. V. Moreno-Arribas, M. A. Pozo-Bayón (2014). Understanding the role of saliva in aroma release from wine by using static and dynamic headspace conditions. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 62, 33, 8274–8288.

3-C. Muñoz-González, P. J. Martín-Álvarez; M. V. Moreno-Arribas, M. A. Pozo-Bayón (2014) Impact of the nonvolatile wine matrix composition on the in vivo aroma release from wines. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 62, 1, 66-73.

4-C. Muñoz-González, J. J. Rodríguez-Bencomo, M. V. Moreno-Arribas, M. A. Pozo-Bayón (2011). Beyond the characterization of wine aroma compounds: looking for analytical approaches in trying to understand aroma perception during wine consumption. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. 401, 5, 1501-16.