Some nonmelting flesh (NMF) peaches develop a characteristic off-flavor during postharvest ripening. A study was conducted using NMF genotypes from the Univ. of Florida breeding program to investigate the off-flavor development in melting flesh (MF) and NMF peach genotypes and to determine the compositional changes associated with the development of off-flavor during postharvest ripening at 8 °C. The study revealed that there were certain chemical components that were consistently associated with the occurrence of off-flavor. Generally, there was a significant increase in total soluble phenolics, polyphenoloxidase (PPO) activity and ethanol content with the increase in the percentage of off-flavored fruit with time in storage at 8 °C in NMF genotypes examined. However, total sugars and total soluble solids decreased significantly during the storage period. These changes in chemical composition of NMF genotypes were not observed in MF genotypes, which did not show off-flavor development. Moreover, highly significant linear correlations were detected between off-flavor development and soluble phenolics, PPO activity, ethanol content, total soluble solids, and sugars in Fla. 92-21C and USDA 87P285, which had the highest percentage of off-flavored fruit. Specifically, soluble phenolics, chlorogenic acid, PPO activity, and ethanol were positively correlated, but soluble sugars and soluble solids were negatively correlated with the off-flavor development. Thus, it is suggested that the accumulation of soluble phenolic compounds and ethanol, and the reduction of soluble solids and sugars contribute to the of off-flavor in NMF genotypes.
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