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J.C. Beaulieu, J.A. Miller, D.A. Ingram and K.L. Bett

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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J.C. Beaulieu, J.M. Lea, G. Eggleston and Z. Peralta-Inga

Markedly higher average sucrose (58.1%) was recovered from mesocarp tissue of six orange-flesh cantaloupe (Cucumis melo L.) genotypes over three seasons compared to glucose (17.5%) and fructose (25.6%). A significant decrease in sucrose concentration was observed in the fall for all six genotypes, and the glucose (21.2%) and fructose (33.5%) ratios were also higher in the fall; markedly different than the spring fruit averages. The female inbreds had significantly (P = 0.05) lower glucose, fructose, sucrose, and total sugars than the commercial hybrids. Compared to the male and female inbreds, commercial hybrids had significantly (P = 0.05) higher concentrations of fructose, sucrose and total sugars, but not glucose. Two refractometric digital measures of °Brix (°Brix-At and °Brix-II) in homogenized slurries were positively correlated (r = 0.914; P ≤ 0.001), and were also correlated with total sugars (r ≥ 0.839) and sucrose (r ≥ 0.752). °Brix of cubes (°Brix-cube) was significantly correlated with sucrose and total sugars (r ≥ 0.627). Total sugar was positively correlated with sucrose (r = 0.843; P ≤ 0.001). Eastern-type U.S. melons had significantly (P = 0.05) higher °Brix-cube and °Brix-At compared to U.S. western shipper-types. Female inbreds were significantly (P = 0.05) lower in mean °Brix (all three measures) compared to the hybrids and male inbreds, and female inbreds had higher pH than the male inbreds. Western shippers had significantly (P = 0.05) higher pH compared to eastern genotypes. The predominant organic acid in all six genotypes was succinic acid, generally followed by oxalic, citric/isocitric, then malic acid. Succinic acid recovery was significantly higher in all six genotypes harvested in the fall, compared to spring. Eastern genotypes had significantly (P = 0.05) lower organic acids compared to western genotypes. Results indicate that maternal inheritance appears to confer lower sugar accumulating capacity and higher pH, which, is associated with vacuolar acid invertase (AI) and hexose balance. Breeding programs should focus on hybrid vigor derived through accentuating homozygous female inbreds with lower pH and higher capacity for sucrose accumulation, as well as morphological and agronomic traits often carried in the female line.