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Mylène Blanchard, Francois Castaigne, and Joseph Makhlouf

Our purpose was to study the impact of controlled atmosphere (CA) on respiration of and changes in sugar content of diced onions. The onions were peeled, diced, washed, disinfected, and centrifuged before storage for 12 days under gas mixtures of 21% O2 and 0% CO2 (air), 2% O2 and 0% CO2, and 2% O2 and 10% CO2. Every 4 days, respiration rate and sugar content (total, sucrose, fructose, and glucose) were determined. Carbon dioxide-enriched atmosphere limited respiration rate and sucrose depletion, whereas the mere reduction of O2 had no effect. Reducing sugar contents remained constant during storage regardless of the treatment.

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Ezzedine Derbali, Louis-Philippe Vezina, and Joseph Makhlouf

Objectionable off-odors are produced by broccoli (Brassica oleracea, L.) when it is held under anaerobic conditions. These off-odors were attributed to sulfur volatile compounds mainly methanethiol (MT) and hydrogen sulfide. The present study was undertaken to investigate the effects of anaerobic conditions on the metabolism and emission of sulfur volatiles by broccoli. Inhibition assays using aminooxyacetic acid (AOA)—a potential inhibitor of pyridoxal-phosphate-dependent enzymes-confirmed the enzymatic origin of these volatiles. However, anaerobic atmosphere had no inducible effect on the enzymes cystine lyase, cysteine desulfhydrases and S-alkylcysteine lyase. These pyridoxal-phosphate-dependent enzymes thought to catalyze the respective degradation of cystine, cysteine and S-methyl-L-cysteine to sulfur volatiles showed no significant activity increase. Storage of sterile broccoli seedlings under anaerobic atmosphere resulted in an important increase of the content of sulfur amino acids that corresponded to an increased emission of sulfur volatiles. Cysteine and methionine content increased particularly at 24 hours and decreased later. Whereas, S-methyl-L-cysteine content increase was more obvious after 48 hours. The results suggest a possible involvement of the pathways for synthesis and breakdown of sulfur amino acids via methionine.

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Marie-Hélène Michaud, Joseph Makhlouf, Nicolas Tremblay, and André Gosselin

A research project was undertaken in 1990 with the objective of improving both quality and productivity of peas, beans and sweet corn grown and processed in Quebec (Canada). It was conducted with the technical and financial help of five proccessing companies. Cultivar trials were undertaken as part of this project together with an evaluation of commercial practices in the areas of pest control, fertilization and crop management. Samples of fresh and processed products were analysed for nutritional quality and pesticide residues. During this presentation we will show preliminary results of the pesticide residue analyses and will compare fresh and processed products. So far, determination of dimethoate, trifluralin and bentazone (peas), azinphosmethyl and permetrin (beans) and cypermetrin (sweet corn) showed no concentration exceeding the Canadian norm (<0, 1mg/kg), with the exception of a bean field with azinphosmethyl residues. Canning and freezing operations greatly reduced pesticide residues so that all processed samples tested below detectable levels.

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Hélène Lambert, Claude Willemot, John E. Thompson, and Joseph Makhlouf

This research is aimed at the identification of volatile compounds from the isolated membranes fractions, microsomes, and deteriosomes. Fractions were isolated from tomato pericarp by ultracentrifugation at 252,000x g during 1 hour, followed by 362,000x g during 12 hours. The supernatant was infiltrated through a membrane of 300,000 D cut off to concentrate the deteriosomes. The volatiles from the fractions were analyzed by dynamic headspace and GC-MS. Our results suggest that the isolated fractions contained most tomato volatiles. Analysis by GC-MS identified two groups: compounds originating from fatty acids [e.g., hexanal and (E)-2-hexenal] and compounds coming from amino acids (e.g., 2 and 3-methyl butanal). Both microsomes and deteriosomes were highly enriched in volatiles on a protein basis. The increase in volatile compounds in these fractions was influenced by fruit maturity and correlate closely with volatile development in the intact fruit. Volatiles may be generated in the microsomes and released from the membranes via deteriosomes.