Who we are

We are a research lab focusing on understanding the chemical basis of aroma and taste, especially in the wine industry. In this field we are the most cited laboratory in the world.

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Research interests

Our main research lines have taken us to the state of the art in the chemical analysis of sensory elements like aromas and tastes applied to Enology.

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We offer professional services tailored to your needs and based on the analysis of flavors. Also we offer research and consultancy about any subject related with this sector.

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Improve your tasting skills


Our team

Juan Cacho Palomar is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Analytical Chemistry at the Faculty of Science at the University of Zaragoza and also an enologist at the Regional Government of Aragon. He is the founder and former head of LAAE. His work in wine science started at the beginning of the 1980s studying the evolution of grape composition in Somontano. Later his research interests included color, aroma and flavor of wine with special interest in vinification processes and the recovery of autochthonous grape varieties.

Vicente Ferreira is a full professor at the Department of Analytical Chemistry at the University of Zaragoza.
He is currently the head of LAAE. Throughout his 20 year professional career he has been well-known for his entrepreneurial spirit and perseverance when researching products or new methods.

Vicente Ferreira, FULL PROFESSOR
Purificación Hernández is an associate professor at the University of Zaragoza. She has been studying grape composition for 30 years. Her main research interests are the influence of microorganisms on wine aroma genesis from odorless grape precursors.

Purificación Hernández, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Ana Escudero is an associate professor at the University of Zaragoza and owner and enologist of Bodegas y Viñedos Ilurce (Alfaro, La Rioja). Belonging to a traditional wine producing family, she has been in contact with wine since her childhood. In her scientific career she has specialized in wine aroma analysis with olfactometry and sensory analysis. Her main research line is the understanding of the sensory role of the molecules involved in wine aroma.
An associate professor at the University of Zaragoza, Ricardo López has been working in wine aroma research during the last 20 years. His main research interests are focused on the development of new analytical methods for Aroma Chemistry and on the study of new enological additives and vinification routes.

María Pilar Sáenz Navajas obtained her European PhD degree in 2011 under the supervision of Prof. V. Ferreira and Dr. P.Fernández-Zurbano at the University of La Rioja (Spain) with her thesis entitled: “Sensory interactions and chemical parameters responsible for the perceived quality of Spanish red wines”.
She obtained a postdoctoral fellowship (2011-2013) for developing her research career at the Centre des Sciences du Goût et de l´Alimentation at Dijon (France) focusing mainly on sensory analysis, perception, psychology and cross-cultural consumer studies under the supervision of Prof. D. Valentin. Since October 2013 she has been part of the LAAE, her main research line being the construction of models for predicting sensory (aroma and in-mouth) properties from chemical composition.

María Pilar Sáenz, RESEARCHER

Purificación Fernández is an associate professor at the University of La Rioja and also a researcher at the Instituto de la Vid y el Vino. Her research interests have been related with polyphenolic compounds from grapes or wines and sensory analysis. Currently, her main focus is understanding the role played by non-volatile compounds in taste and mouth perception.

Purificación Fernández, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Mónica Bueno holds a degree in chemistry and a master in Chemical Research. She is finishing her doctoral thesis dedicated to the influence of carbonyl compounds in oxidative phenomena.
Mónica Bueno
Arancha de la Fuente Blanco holds her phD in Chemistry, specialised such as flavorist. Her main research line being to understand flavor formation by building food and non-food model systems.
Arancha de la Fuente
Ignacio Ontañón obtained his PhD degree in Analytical Chemistry in 2015 at the University of Zaragoza with his thesis about analysis of volatile compounds and odours released from home appliances. Nowadays, his work is focused on the development of analytical methods for volatile compounds and on the study of reduction problem in wine.
Ignacio Ontañón Alonso
Yohanna Alegre Martinez is graduated in Biology with a Master’s degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology. She is doing her doctoral thesis on the aromas generated by different yeasts and metabolic pathways involved.
Yohanna Alegre Martínez
Almudena Marrufo holds as degree in Chemistry and degree in Oenology. At present, her work focuses on the study of the processes of oxidation in wines and their involvement in the sensory profile.
Almudena Marrufo
Ignacio Arias Pérez has a degree in Biology from the University of Santiago de Compostela and a degree in Enology from the University of La Rioja. He is currently working on his Ph.D. degree that deals with the sensory and molecular analysis of greenness in wines.
Ignacio Arias Pérez

Cristina Peña is Oenologist and obtained a PhD in Chemistry in 1997. After starting in this group in the field of oenological and aroma research, she has worked for more than 25 years in cellar, producing wines of different types and handling different varieties, managing and controlling production and processing processes, chemical and sensory analysis of grapes, musts and wines, quality control of processes and management of work groups.

Cristina Peña
Marie Denat has a bachelor degree in Chemistry from the University of Toulouse and a master degree in Enology from the University of Bordeaux. She is currently doing her PhD thesis within Aromagenesis European project, on the impact of several yeasts on wine aroma composition.
Marie Denat
Elayma Sánchez Acevedo holds a degree in Chemistry from the University of Havana and a Master’s Degree in Applied Chromatographic Techniques from the Rovira i Virgili University. Her doctoral thesis is focused on the study of the molecules involved in the potential aromatic quality in grapes.
Elayma Sánchez

Elena Bueno Aventín holds a Bachelor degree in Food Science and Technology from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and a bilingual Master degree in Biotechnology from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Nowadays, she is developing her PhD degree studying the parameters implicated in the oxidative stability and its intervention in the wine aroma profile.

Elena Bueno

Diego Sánchez Gimeno holds a degree in food’s science and technology and a master in Quality, Safety and Food Technology. His doctoral thesis is focused on the behaviour of volatile sulphur compounds of wine, researching new strategies to remedy reduction off-odours.

Diego Sánchez
Oscar Castejón Musulén holds a degree in Chemistry and a Master degree in Industrial Chemistry from the University of Zaragoza, currently deals with the development and optimization of chromatographic methods.
Óscar Castejón

Jorge Cebollada is the laboratory technician of the group. He is in charge of carrying out the routine analysis and giving support to the experimental work of the group. He has 10 years of experience in the field of flavor analysis.

Jorge Cebollada