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J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Nov 14;55(23):9503-13. Epub 2007 Oct 19.

Correlating volatile compounds, sensory attributes, and quality parameters in stored fresh-cut cantaloupe.

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  • 1United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Southern Regional Research Center, Food Processing and Sensory Quality Unit, New Orleans, Louisiana 70124, USA. beaulieu@srrc.ars.usda.gov

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  • J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Apr 23;56(8):2866.

Abstract

Changes in post-cutting volatiles, quality, and sensory attributes during fresh-cut storage (4 degrees C) of cantaloupe (Cucumis melo L. var. Reticulatus, Naudin, cv. 'Sol Real') harvested at four distinct maturities (1/4-, 1/2-, 3/4-, and full-slip) were investigated after 0, 2, 5, 7, 9, 12, and 14 days in a 2-year study. Increased fruity and sweet taste attributes were negatively correlated with percent acetates, aromatic acetates, and total aromatic compounds, and positively correlated with percentage non-acetate esters. Ethyl hexanoate was strongly positively correlated with fruity and sweet taste. Cucurbit, water-like, hardness, cohesiveness, and denseness were positively correlated with percentage acetates, aromatic acetates, and total aromatic compounds, and negatively correlated with percentage non-acetate esters. Several non-acetate esters such as ethyl 2-methyl propanoate, ethyl butanoate, ethyl 2-methyl butanoate, and ethyl hexanoate were negatively (often strongly) correlated with cucurbit. Hardness was positively and strongly correlated with aromatic acetates and all aromatic (benzyl) compounds. In summary, firmer and denser cubes contained more acetates and fewer non-acetate esters. The apparently negative or undesirable attributes cucurbit and water-like were associated with higher acetates and aromatic compounds. Overall, relatively strong (year x maturity x day) correlations among numerous physiological, volatile, and sensory measures were found in this study. Highly significant (stronger) correlations were found in a year x day analysis used to pair maturity means; however, year and interaction effects require prudence when interpreting that data. Nonetheless, both analyses delivered almost identical trends, and strong correlations occurred even though samples were randomized from numerous fruits, per maturity, per juice catcher container, over 2 years. Further interpretation and biochemical explanation are needed to rationalize why mainly only non-acetate esters were highly correlated with desirable sensory and quality parameters.

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