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Fruit physical, chemical and aromatic attributes of early, intermediate and late apricot cultivars

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BACKGROUND: In order to reach good fruit quality, apricots require a balance of sugars and acids as well as a strong apricot aroma. In this study, fruit quality of early, intermediate and late apricot cultivars was evaluated by measuring physical, chemical and olfactory attributes. Multivariate analysis of quality and aroma attributes was used to identify groups of similar cultivars and association with ripening season.

RESULTS: Physical, chemical and aromatic attributes showed great variation among cultivars but no relation to ripening season. Aromatic profiles (34 volatiles) of fruit tissues indicated qualitative and quantitative differences among cultivars. Ninfa and Mandorlon were richest in aroma, with a prevailing fruity component; Goldrich and Orange Red were also highly aromatic, with all odour components well represented; Pinkot, Alba and Pellecchiella were lowest in aroma, with a prevailing grassy component. Linear functions including five volatiles (concentrations) and fruit diameter or six aromatic compounds (odour units) and peel colour were found to discriminate cultivars by ripening season. Principal component analysis individuated three groups of cultivars: Ninfa and Mandorlon with sweet and fruity‐flavoured fruits; Bulida, Alba, Goldrich, Ouardy and Silvercot with large, acidic and well‐coloured fruits; and Fracasso, Pellecchiella, Palummella and Pinkot with small and floral/grassy‐flavoured fruits.

CONCLUSION: In apricot, detailed analysis of the aromatic profile may represent an efficient tool for classification of genotypes by ripening season, and volatiles with relevant odour contribution may serve as quality markers for selecting towards an extended ripening season of best quality apricots. Copyright © 2010 Society of Chemical Industry
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Keywords: flavour; gas chromatography; mass spectrometry; odour note; peel colour; soluble solids; volatile compounds

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 30, 2010

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