VCF online Volatile Compounds in Food 16.7

50 Years Volatile Compounds in Food

Formerly known as 'Lists of Volatiles (LOV)' Dr. C. Weurman started the compilation of volatile compounds in food in 1963. He was head of the Aroma department of the 'Central Institute for Food Research' at TNO (Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research). Convening every three years, the Weurman Flavour Symposium has become one of the most important international meetings for reporting recent discoveries in flavour sciences. It keeps flavour chemistry at the core while addressing the other scientific areas used to study flavour. The 14th Weurman Flavour Research Symposium will take place at Queens' College, Cambridge, UK. Scheduled events will be held between the 15th and 19th of September, 2014. (www.weurman2014.com).

This conference reflects the importance of the work of Dr. Weurman, and the VCF database is one of his initiatives. Having started with typewritten lists, the collection of data has become and continues to be a relevant reference point for many scientists and flavour specialists. Significant contributions to this work came from TNO scientists, such as S. van Straten, H. Maarse, L. Willemsens and many others. Later editions of the list came as printed books, with many indexes and supplements. The VCF database reflects the identification of new volatile compounds by various authors over the years. Apart from new compounds, new products and additional information about the compounds were added.

The list underwent several generations of automation, following the development of computer hardware and software. At all times the board of the TNO Institute realised the relevance of this work and of the continuation of data collecting throughout the years. The rise of the internet gave the opportunity to develop a user interface for searching the database. The first subscribers were admitted in 2002. Since then, addition of new functionality and search techniques made the information more easily available.

We are planning to celebrate this 50th anniversary by implementing new functionality and new data. You requested the incorporation of retention time indices and flavour threshold values into our data. Also the development of a new design is under way. Please wait for the announcements which will come soon.

As a user you may demonstrate your appreciation of this achievement by recommending this website to your colleagues in your publications and references. It will help in supporting the funding and development of this data collection. It is in our mutual interest that this valuable collection can survive and continue to grow during the next 50 years!

The editors: Ben Nijssen, Katja van Ingen-Visscher, Jan Donders.