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J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Apr 5;54(7):2678-87.

Characterization of odor-active volatiles in apples: influence of cultivars and maturity stage.

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  • 1Laboratoire GRAPPE, Ecole SupĂ©rieure d'Agriculture (ESA), 55 rue Rabelais, B.P. 30748, 49007 Angers Cedex 01, France.


The aroma and texture of three different apple cultivars, harvested at three maturity stages, were analyzed by sensory and instrumental analysis. The emphasis was on the identification of the most potent odorant volatiles, and the challenge was to separate the few most important flavor compounds, which may be trace chemicals, from the vast number of nonodorant compounds present in apple aroma extracts. Thirty-six odorant compounds were detected, 24 of which were common to all extracts. A significant correlation coefficient was found between the aroma intensity scores and overall quantity of the odorant volatiles, which shows that the development of sensory aroma is similar to that of odorant volatiles. This study also showed that the parameters measured by penetrometry and compression were highly correlated with sensory textural attributes. The determination of the optimal maturity stage for different apple cultivars by the usual parameters, such as color, diameter, total soluble solids, and titrable acidity, may not be sufficient to determine the optimal sensory quality for consumers. Moreover, the sensory quality of fruits changes during maturation in a different way from one cultivar to another, and this should be taken into account.

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