The odour-active and off-odour components of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were evaluated by gas chromatography Coupled with olfactometry and mass spectrometry. A microwave assisted distillation followed by solvent extraction (MAD-SE) method for isolation of volatiles in rainbow trout has been developed. Sensory analysis shows that the aromatic extract obtained by this method was representative of rainbow trout odour. A total of 34 and 32 odorous components were separated in DB-5 and DB-Wax column, respectively, and 29 and 27 of these compounds were identified. Among them, nonanal (green, floral), (E,E)-2,4-octadienal (green, cucumber), 2-methylisoborneol (Musty), and geosmin (earthy) were the most important contributors to the aroma because they were perceived by all eight panellists in aromatic extracts by Gas chromatography-olfactometry. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.