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Anne Plotto, Mina R. McDaniel and James P. Mattheis

Aroma and flavor characters of `Gala' apples [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf. `Gala'] were identified by 10 trained panelists. A vocabulary of 13 aroma descriptors and 16 flavor descriptors were used to characterize changes in controlled atmosphere (CA) and air, or regular atmosphere (RA) storage over 20 weeks. When compared with RA storage, the intensity of fruity (pear, banana, and strawberry) and floral descriptors decreased after 10 weeks in CA for whole and cut fruit aroma and flavor. During the entire storage period under CA, aroma of cut apples retained high vegetative and citrus characters but had a less intense anise aroma. Sourness and astringency were significantly higher for CA-stored apples, and sweetness was significantly lower. A musty note was perceived in whole apples stored in CA for 20 weeks. Aroma of whole fruit stored for 16 weeks in CA followed by 4 weeks in RA was higher in fruitiness, banana, floral, and anise characters when compared with apples stored 20 weeks in CA. There was no difference between fruit stored in CA followed by RA versus CA stored apples for flavor and aroma of cut fruit. Changes in descriptor ratings during storage are discussed in relation to gas chromatography and olfactometry data obtained with the Osme method.

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Anne Plotto, Mina R. McDaniel and James P. Mattheis

Changes in the odor-active volatile compounds produced by `Gala' apples [Malus ×sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf. `Gala'] were measured after 4, 10, and 20 weeks storage at 1 °C in regular atmosphere (RA) or controlled atmosphere (CA), and 16 weeks in CA followed by 4 weeks in RA. Aroma was evaluated using the gas chromatography-olfactometry method Osme. Production of volatile esters decreased along with corresponding fruity aromas during CA storage. Hexyl acetate, butyl acetate, and 2-methylbutyl acetate were emitted in the largest amounts and perceived with the strongest intensities from RA-stored fruit. While hexyl acetate and butyl acetate concentrations and aroma intensities decreased during CA storage, 2-methylbutyl acetate remained at the RA concentration until apples had been stored 16 weeks in CA. Perception intensities of methylbutyrate esters with apple or berrylike odors decreased less than straight chain esters in CA-stored fruit. 4-Allylanisole, ß-damascenone, and 1-octen-3-ol, as well as an unknown compound with a watermelon descriptor, were perceived more in RA-stored fruit than in CA-stored apples. Factor analysis indicated the importance of these compounds in `Gala' apples stored 4 weeks in RA. Even though these compounds do not have an apple odor, they contribute to fresh `Gala' aroma.

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Anne Plotto, Anita N. Azarenko, Mina R. McDaniel, Patrick W. Crockett and James P. Mattheis

Eating quality of `Gala' and `Fuji' apples (Malus domestica Borkh.) from multiple harvests and storage durations was assessed using an untrained consumer panel. Apples were harvested at weekly intervals for 6 weeks and stored in air. Changes due to harvest maturity and storage for overall liking (OL), sweetness, tartness, firmness, and flavor intensity were evaluated over 8 months. A multivariate factor analysis revealed multicollinearity for OL, sweetness, and flavor intensity ratings in both cultivars. These attributes had the highest loadings in the first factor, explaining 51% and 52% of the variance of `Gala' and `Fuji' data sets, respectively, and were interpreted as a quality factor. Tartness and firmness had the highest loadings in the second factor for `Gala', explaining an additional 23% of the variability and reducing that cultivar's data set to two factors. For `Fuji', however, tartness and firmness were independent and included in factors 2 and 3, respectively. Factors 2 and 3 were interpreted as maturity factors, which explained 23% and 12% of the variance. The plots of the mean factor scores provided a multivariate technique to illustrate that panelists could differentiate between the stages of maturity of apples. Canonical correlations were calculated between the sensory and instrumental data. Only firmness measurements were correlated with sensory ratings for firmness (r = 0.53 and 0.44 for `Gala' and `Fuji', respectively).