Information on important flavor components for fruit and vegetables is lacking and would be useful for breeders and molecular biologists. Effects of sugar and acid levels on mango (Mangifera indica L.) flavor perception were analyzed. Twelve treatments, identified using a constrained simplex lattice mixture design, were formulated by adding sugar (60%), citric acid (40%), and water to an equal volume of mango homogenate. Using 150-mm nonstructured line scales, a trained panel evaluated the treatments according to 11 flavor descriptors. Titratable acidity (TA), pH, and total soluble solids (TSS) were also determined. Acid concentration affected ratings for sweet, sour, peachy, pine/terpentine, astringent, and biting. Except for sour taste, all descriptors were affected by sugar content while increasing water increased intensities of all flavor notes. TA, pH, and TSS/TA correlated (P < 0.01) with and were useful predictors (r > 0.80) of sour taste and chemical feeling descriptors astringent and biting. TSS, however, was not a particularly good indicator of sweetness (r = 0.72) or any other descriptor except possibly peachy (r = 0.79). It is evident from this study that sugars and acids enhance human perception of specific flavor notes in mango, including aromatics.
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