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Liangli Yu, Denys J. Charles, Amots Hetzroni, and James E. Simon

The volatiles of muskmelon (Cucumis melo L. reticulatis cv. Mission) were sampled by dichloromethane extraction and dynamic headspace methods and analyzed by gas chromatography (GC) and GC–mass spectroscopy (MS). A total of 34 constituents were identified, with esters contributing 8%–92% of the total volatiles. Butyl propionate, ethyl 3-methylpentanoate, hexadecanoic acid, methyl (methylthio)acetate, propyl butyrate, phenylpropyl alcohol, and vanillin, were recovered only by solvent extraction, while hexanal was only detected using dynamic headspace sampling. Methyl butyrate 35.2%, ethyl acetate 17.1%, butyl acetate 11.6%, ethyl propionate 8.3%, and 3-methylbutyl acetate 6.3% were the major constituents by solvent extraction sampling method. Butyl acetate 35.5%, 3-methylbutyl acetate 20.9%, ethyl acetate 7.3%, 2-butyl acetate 5.6%, and hexyl acetate 3.8% were the major constituents recovered by headspace sampling. Fruit tissue was also separated into five layers (exocarp, outer mesocarp, middle mesocarp, inner mesocarp, and seed cavity) and the volatile constituents differed significantly in content and composition by tissue.

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J.R. DeEll and P.M.A. Toivonen

When the gas concentrations of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) become extreme for broccoli (<2 kPa O2 and >10 kPa CO2), off-odors and off-flavors may develop via anaerobic respiration, rendering it unmarketable. We recently showed that chlorophyll fluorescence decreases when broccoli switches to anaerobic behavior in MAP. The objectives of this study were to determine: 1) if chlorophyll fluorescence returns to normal levels after the package is opened and hence the broccoli is exposed to ambient air, and 2) if chlorophyll fluorescence is related to off-odors that develop. Broccoli heads were held in MAP (2 to 3 kPa O2 and >10 kPa CO2) at 0 to 1 °C for 4, 7, 14, 21, or 28 days, and then 5 days in ambient air at 0 to 1 °C. Chlorophyll fluorescence of the broccoli decreased dramatically in MAP, and remained low during the subsequent 5 days in ambient air. Similarly, off-odors became worse and acetaldehyde, ethanol, and ethyl acetate increased in the broccoli with time in MAP. However, these compounds slightly decreased during the subsequent 5 days of storage in ambient air. Chlorophyll fluorescence parameters correlated negatively with off-odor development and acetaldehyde, ethanol, and ethyl acetate levels in the tissue.

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Elizabeth A. Baldwin and Myrna O. Nisperos-Carriedo

Edible lipid and composite films were tested for their ability to retain flavor volatiles in `Pineapple' orange fruits stored at 21° using a headspace analysis technique. Volatiles, considered to be important to fresh orange flavor, were quantified and acetaldehyde, ethyl acetate, ethyl butyrate and methyl butyrate increased progressively during storage in coated fruits. Acetaldehyde increased by the second day of storage in uncoated fruits but declined thereafter, `Sunny' tomato fruits were harvested at the green or breaker stage of maturity and ripened at 32.5, 21.0 and 12.9°C. Some fruit from the higher and lower storage temperatures were moved to 21° after one week. In most cases major or important flavor volatiles were highest in fruit transferred to or continuously stored at 21.0°C followed by 12.9 and 32.5°C. Fruit harvested at the breaker stage generally had higher volatile levels compared to those harvested green.

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Elizabeth A. Baldwin and Myrna O. Nisperos-Carriedo

Edible lipid and composite films were tested for their ability to retain flavor volatiles in `Pineapple' orange fruits stored at 21° using a headspace analysis technique. Volatiles, considered to be important to fresh orange flavor, were quantified and acetaldehyde, ethyl acetate, ethyl butyrate and methyl butyrate increased progressively during storage in coated fruits. Acetaldehyde increased by the second day of storage in uncoated fruits but declined thereafter, `Sunny' tomato fruits were harvested at the green or breaker stage of maturity and ripened at 32.5, 21.0 and 12.9°C. Some fruit from the higher and lower storage temperatures were moved to 21° after one week. In most cases major or important flavor volatiles were highest in fruit transferred to or continuously stored at 21.0°C followed by 12.9 and 32.5°C. Fruit harvested at the breaker stage generally had higher volatile levels compared to those harvested green.

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Mette Larsen and Christopher B. Watkins

Firmness and aroma composition of strawberry fruit (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch. cv. Pajaro) stored in air or treated with 20% CO2 for up to 12 days at 0C were analyzed upon removal from storage. Fruit firmness increased after 2 days in CO2, while the composition of aroma compounds in the fruit was unaffected at this time. Ethanol and ethyl hexanoate accumulated after 3 days during high CO2 treatment, but these compounds usually decreased during subsequent cold storage in air. Ethyl butanoate and ethyl acetate also accumulated but continued to increase after 6 and 9 days of CO2 storage, respectively. This study suggests that treatment of strawberry fruit with CO2 after harvest, followed by air storage at 0C, can maintain firmness while minimizing off-flavor development.

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J.P. Fernandez-Trujillo, J.F. Nock, and C.B. Watkins

Several strawberry fruit cultivars were exposed to air or CO2 at 2 °C for up to 9 days. Concentrations of fermentation products and organic acids, and activities of pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC) and alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), were measured. Acetaldehyde, ethanol, and ethyl acetate concentrations accumulated in CO2-treated fruit of `Honeoye' and `Kent', but not in `Cavendish' or `Annapolis'. We classified the former group of cultivars as intolerant to high CO2 and the latter group as tolerant to high CO2. Activities of PDC and ADH were higher in CO2-treated than air-treated fruit of the tolerant cultivars but not in the intolerant cultivars. Succinate accumulated in fruit of all cultivars, but concentrations were highest in the tolerant than in the intolerant cultivars. These results will be discussed in relation to mechanisms of CO2 action on fruit metabolism.

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Charles F. Forney, James P. Mattheis, and Rodney K. Austin

Broccoli (Brassica oleracea L., ltalica Group) produces severe off-odors when it is stored under anaerobic conditions which can develop in modified atmosphere packages. The compounds responsible for these off-odors, which render the broccoli unmarketable, were produced after sealing 50 g of fresh broccoli florets in glass pint jars held at 15C. Twenty-four hours after sealing oxygen concentration dropped to around 0.5% and remained at this concentration for 6 days. Volatile compounds found in the head space of the jars were identified using gas chromatography with flame photometric and mass spectroscopic detection. Volatile compounds produced were identified as methanethiol, hydrogen sulfide, dimethyl disulfide, acetaldehyde, acetone, ethanol, and ethyl acetate. Methanethiol was detected 48 hours after sealing and appears through olfactory evaluation to be the primary compound responsible for the objectionable odor.

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J. Pablo Fernández-Trujillo, Jacqueline F. Nock, and Christopher B. Watkins

Effects of 20 kPa CO2 treatments on concentrations of fermentation products, organic acids, and activities of pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC) and alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), were measured in fruit of selected strawberry cultivars (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch. `Annapolis', `Cavendish', `Honeoye', `Kent', `Jewell', `Lateglow', and `NorthEast'). Acetaldehyde, ethanol, and ethyl acetate concentrations accumulated in CO2-treated fruit of `Honeoye' and `Kent', but not in `Cavendish' or `Annapolis'. The former two cultivars were classified as intolerant to high CO2 and the latter two as tolerant to high CO2. Activities of PDC and ADH were higher in CO2-treated than in air-treated fruit of the tolerant cultivars but not in the intolerant cultivars. Succinate accumulated in fruit of all cultivars, but concentrations were higher in the tolerant than in the intolerant cultivars. Results are discussed in relation to tolerance of fruit to CO2.

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G.K. Jayaprakasha, Clark Wilson, and Bhimanagouda S. Patil

Consumption of fruits and vegetables has been associated with reduced risk of disease, such as neurodegenerative disorders and certain forms of cancer, and aging. Antioxidants prevent the damage to macromolecules and cells by interfering with the free radicals. Several natural compounds that posses antioxidant activity have been reported from plant sources and are commercially promoted as nutraceuticals. Citrus fruits contain certain bioactive compounds such as phenolics, flavonoids, limonoids, carotenoids, and ascorbic acid. In this context, navel oranges were freeze-dried and extracted with five different solvents, such as hexane, ethyl acetate, acetone, methanol, and 8 methanol: 2 water. The extracts were dried under vacuum and screened for their radical scavenging activity using the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl method at 250, 500, and 1000 ppm. The methanol: water and methanol extracts of navel orange were found to be maximum (92.9%) and minimum (63.89%) radical scavenging activity at 1000 ppm. Furthermore, the antioxidant capacity of all extracts was assayed through the phosphomolybdenum method and expressed as equivalent to ascorbic acid (μmol/g of the extract). The order of antioxidant capacity for navel orange extracts was found to be ethyl acetate > acetone > methanol: water > methanol > hexane. It seems that the antioxidant capacity of the extracts is in accordance with the amount of phenolics/lycopene present in each fraction and may provide a good source of antioxidants. This project is based upon work supported by the USDA–CSREES under Agreement USDA IFAFS #2001-52102-02294 and USDA #2005-34402-14401 “Designing Foods for Health” through the Vegetable and Fruit Improvement Center.

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Christina L. Pierson, Carl E. Sams, Dennis E. Deyton, and Craig S. Charron

Biofumigation is an alternative to traditional methods of soil sterilization such as methyl bromide. Biofumigation utilizes volatile, pesticidal compounds in soil incorporated plant material from various Brassica species. Three experiments were conducted to study the degradation of allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) generated from the breakdown of glucosinolates present in Oriental mustard (Brassica juncea L. Czerniak). Mustard seed meal was incorporated into a sandy clay loam soil in all experiments. In the first experiment, samples were hydrated and then held in an incubator at 20 ± 0.2 °C. Samples were taken periodically for 7 days or until AITC was not detectable. For the second experiment, hydrated samples were removed from the incubator after 4 hours and 5 mL of ethyl acetate was added. The samples were then placed in a refrigerator at 4 ± 0.2 °C and samples were taken periodically over 77 days. For the third experiment, samples were taken from a strawberry plot experiment grown in a randomized complete block design. Samples were taken and 5 mL of ethyl acetate was added. Then samples were placed into a cooler until returning to the laboratory. The incubator experiment was repeated and showed that the highest concentration of AITC occurred between 2 and 8 hours after hydration. The storage experiment showed a stable relationship between time and AITC degradation. AITC was still present after 77 days. The strawberry plot experiment showed rapid AITC degradation similar to the incubator experiment. Future research will be done to confirm the effects of temperature and glucosinolate content on the amount of allyl isothiocyanate present.