101 Postharvest and Flavor Quality of Fresh-cut `Gala' Apples after Harvest and CA Storage

in HortScience
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  • 1 United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Southern Regional Research Center, P.O. Box 19687, New Orleans, LA 70179

Much fresh-cut apple research has focused on browning, yet little sensory and flavor analysis has been performed. We therefore evaluated postharvest and flavor changes in stored fresh-cut `Gala' apples prepared after harvest or after CA storage (3 months, 1.4% CO2 and 3% O2). Apples were washed, cored, sliced, dipped in browning inhibitors (BI; Na-erythorbate + CaCl2), packaged in LLDPE bags, and evaluated for descriptive flavor attributes, GC volatiles, firmness, CO2 and O2 and color after 0, 2, 7, and 14 days at 1 °C. Initial apple firmness pre-CA vs. post-CA was 38.3N and 32.7N. Bag O2 concentration dropped to 1% to 2% by day 14 and day 7 for pre- vs. post-CA, respectively. CO2 concentration in bags increased linearly through day 14 in both pre- and post-CA. All pre-CA Hunter L values were higher than post-CA for all treatments on all sampling days. Both BI treatments maintained color for 14 days, but freshly cut (FC) wedges were generally superior whereas stored untreated fresh-cut (SFC) wedges browned markedly by day 2. There was no apparent difference between BI levels in terms of browning or flavor. BI-treated wedges were rated more astringent than FC and SFC, especially after CA. With few exceptions, “fruity”, “raw/ripe apple,” and “sweet” attributes were higher in all pre- vs. post-CA treatments. This trend was conserved through 14 days of storage per treatment. “Sour” and “citrus” scores were higher after CA only in BI-treated wedges. Major compounds recovered were butanol, butyl acetate, hexanol, 2-methylbutyl acetate, amyl/isoamyl acetate, hexyl acetate, 2-hexenyl acetate, butyl 2-methylbutanoate, butyl hexanoate, hexyl butanoate, hexyl 2-methylbutanoate, hexyl hexanoate, isobutyl octanoate and α-farnesene. Flavor-related compounds varied markedly through storage and after CA. The GC volatile analysis will be presented along with any possible correlation to trained sensory evaluations.

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