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J Agric Food Chem. 2008 May 28;56(10):3749-57. doi: 10.1021/jf0732915. Epub 2008 May 7.

Studies on the aroma of five fresh tomato cultivars and the precursors of cis- and trans-4,5-epoxy-(E)-2-decenals and methional.

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Western Regional Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 800 Buchanan Street, Albany, California 94710, USA.


Three tasty (BR-139, FA-624, and FA-612) and two less tasty (R-144 and R-175) fresh greenhouse tomato cultivars, which significantly differ in their flavor profiles, were screened for potent odorants using aroma extract dilution analysis (AEDA). On the basis of AEDA results, 19 volatiles were selected for quantification in those 5 cultivars using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Compounds such as 1-penten-3-one, ( E, E)- and ( E, Z)-2,4-decadienal, and 4-hydroxy-2,5-dimethyl-3(2 H)-furanone (Furaneol) had higher odor units in the more preferred cultivars, whereas methional, phenylacetaldehyde, 2-phenylethanol, or 2-isobutylthiazole had higher odor units in the less preferred cultivars. Simulation of the odor of the selected tomato cultivars by preparation of aroma models and comparison with the corresponding real samples confirmed that all important fresh tomato odorants were identified, that their concentrations were determined correctly in all five cultivars, and that differences in concentration, especially of the compounds mentioned above, make it possible to distinguish between them and are responsible for the differential preference. To help elucidate formation pathways of key odorants, labeled precursors were added to tomatoes. Biogenesis of cis- and trans-4,5-epoxy-( E)-2-decenals from linoleic acid and methional from methionine was confirmed.

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