The volatile compounds of wild gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata) were analyzed by sensory and instrumental analyses. Simultaneous distillation and extraction (SIDE) with dichloromethane were used for extraction of volatile components. According to sensory analysis, the aromatic extract obtained by SDE was representative of sea bream oclour. A total of 46 compounds were identified and quantified in sea bream. Aldehydes and alcohols were the most dominant volatiles in sea bream, as they accounted for the largest proportion. Hexanal. heptanal, nonanal, (Z)-4-heptenal. octanal, (E)-2-nonenal, decanal, benzenacetaldehyde, (E,E)-2,4-decadienal, 1-octen-3-ol and (E)-1,5-octadien-3-ol were potent aroma compounds on the basis of odour activity values (OAVs). Within these, clecanal (OAV: 1110) and (E)-2-nonenal (OAV: 447.5) were the most powerful contributors to the aroma of the sea bream. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.