Fruit flavor is a function of sensory perception of taste, aromatic and chemical feeling factor components in the mouth. The specific role of sugars and acids in potentiating flavor perception of volatile compounds and chemical feeling factors is not well known for many fruits. This study was conducted to determine the effects of selected levels of sugars and acids on perception of 3 taste (sweet, sour, bitter), 6 aromatic (banana, grassy, orange peel, peach, pine/turpentine, sweet potato), and 2 chemical feeling factor (astringent, biting) flavor notes in diluted, fresh mango homogenate using a trained descriptive panel. Perception of all flavor descriptors except sour were enhanced by increasing the sugar concentration. An increase in acid concentration enhanced perception of sweet, sour and biting notes while lowering perception of the astringent, peach and pine/turpentine notes. Brix-to-acid ratio (BAR) was found to be an effective chemical indicator for perception of sourness but was not effective for perception of sweetness. These results provide insight into optimum balances of sugars and acids as they influence mango flavor perception specifically in preparation of juice blends, selection of cultivars for specific fresh markets, or determination of optimum ripeness in the marketplace.
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