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T.M.M. Malundo, E.A. Baldwin, R.L. Shewfelt, H. Sisson and G.O. Ware

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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T.M.M. Malundo, R.L. Shewfelt, G.O. Ware and E.A. Baldwin

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.