Undesirable odour substances (geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol) in water environment: Sources, impacts and removal strategies

Mohamed E. Abd El-Hack, Mohamed T. El-Saadony, Ahmed R. Elbestawy, Hany F. Ellakany, Samar S. Abaza, Amr M. Geneedy, Heba M. Salem, Ayman E. Taha, Ayman A. Swelum, Fatima A. Omer, Synan F. AbuQamar, Khaled A. El-Tarabily

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Off-flavours in fish products generated from recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) are a major problem in the fish farming industry affecting the market demand and prices. A particular concern is the muddy or musty odour and taste in fish due to the presence of secondary metabolites geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol (2-MIB), produced by actinobacteria (mainly Streptomyces), myxobacteria and cyanobacteria. Off-flavours have deteriorated the quality of fish, rendering their products unfit for human consumption. The process of odour removal requires purification for several days to weeks in clean water; thus this leads to additional production costs. Geosmin and 2-MIB, detected at extremely low odour thresholds, are the most widespread off-flavour metabolites in aquaculture, entering through fish gills and accumulating in the fish adipose tissues. In this review, we aimed to determine the diversity and identity of geosmin- and 2-MIB-producing bacteria in aquaculture and provide possible strategies for their elimination.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113579
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • 2-methylisoborneol
  • Actinobacteria
  • Aquaculture system
  • Fish quality
  • Geosmin
  • Off-flavour
  • Water pollution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution


Dive into the research topics of 'Undesirable odour substances (geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol) in water environment: Sources, impacts and removal strategies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this