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A. C. Purvis and R. L. Shewfelt

An emerging theory contends that chilling injury is due to oxidative damage resulting from the metabolic generation of active oxygen species. Mitochondria were isolated from chilling-sensitive (CS) and from conditioned chilling-resistant (CR) bell pepper fruit and their ability to generate superoxide determined by measuring the formation of adrenochrome from epinephrine. Mitochondria from CS fruit were sensitive to cyanide and produced superoxide when supplied with NADH, succinate, or malate-pyruvate. Mitochondria from CR fruit were insensitive to cyanide and sensitive to SHAM and produced little superoxide when supplied with respiratory substrates. ATP enhanced the production of superoxide and ADP reduced the production. Results suggest that the mitochondria are a major source of superoxide in CS plant tissue and the presence of the alternative pathway reduces the production of superoxide.

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R.L. Shewfelt, J.K. Brecht, and C.N. Thai

Tomato ripeness is currently assessed by a subjective visual classification scheme based on external color while maturity of green fruit is based on a destructive evaluation of internal locule development. In an effort to develop an objective method of tomato maturity and ripeness classification, external color measurements were performed on fresh, sized (6×7) `mature-green' tomatoes (cv “Sunny') initially and through ripening using a Gardner XL-845 colorimeter. Hue angle (tan-1 b/a, designated θ) provided the best objective means of ripeness classification with proposed ranges for mature-green (θ>114), breaker (101<θ<114), turning (85<θ<101), pink (64<θ<85), light red (36<θ<64) and red (θ<36) classes using average hue at the circumference. Hue angle at the blossom end was 2-12° lower than at the circumference due to initiation of color development at the blossom end. Colorimetry was not able to distinguish differences in physiological maturity of mature-green tomatoes as determined by the length of time required to develop from mature-green to breaker which varied from 1 to 22 days in the test.

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A.C. Purvis, J.W. Gegogeine, and R.L. Shewfelt

Reactive O2 species produced when electron transport is disrupted have been implicated in several environmental stress-induced disorders. Superoxide (\batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{O}_{2}^{-}\) \end{document}) is produced at two or more sites in mitochondria isolated from bell pepper fruit supplied with succinate and NADH. SOD and KCN completely inhibited \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{O}_{2}^{-}\) \end{document} production with both substrates. Antimycin A inhibited \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{O}_{2}^{-}\) \end{document} production with succinate, but not with NADH. Insensitivity of O2 uptake to KCN increased in mitochondria isolated from bell peppers stored at 2C and their \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{O}_{2}^{-}\) \end{document} production increased with NADH as substrate, but decreased with succinate. Disrupting the mitochondrial membranes enhanced \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{O}_{2}^{-}\) \end{document} production with NADH and reduced production with succinate. Greater \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{O}_{2}^{-}\) \end{document} production with NADH may result from the inability to transfer electrons from NADH through the alternative path. The KCN-insensitive alternative path in some plant tissues appears to reduce the potential production of \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{O}_{2}^{-}\) \end{document}.

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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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E.A. Baldwin, J.W. Scott, T.M. Malundo, and R.L. Shewfelt

Sugars, acids, and flavor volatiles are components of flavor that have been measured instrumentally, revealing differences among tomato cultigens. For objective measurements to be useful, however, they need to relate to sensory data. In this study, objective and sensory analyses of tomato flavor were compared. Seven tomato cultigens were ranked for sweetness, sourness, and flavor and rated for overall acceptability by a panel of 32 experienced judges. Sucrose equivalents (SE), measured by HPLC, but not soluble solids correlated with sweetness at P = 0.10. In addition, SE highly correlated with flavor (P = 0.03), while titratable acidity (TA) negatively correlated with overall acceptability (P = 0.03). Regression analysis indicated that 2+3-methylbutanol, cis-3-hexenal, and 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one significantly contributed to flavor at a 5% level of significance. It is apparent from this study that sucrose equivalents are more meaningful than soluble solids for measurement of sweetness, and that certain flavor volatiles play a role in tomato flavor.

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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.

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R. Aynaou, F.M. Woods, R. Shewfelt, J.E. Brown, S. Tuzun, J.H. Cherry, and L.G. Sanders

The ability of two tomato cultivars, Lycopersicon esculentum cv. VFNTCherry (chill sensitive) and L. esculentum × L. pimpinellifollim cv. New York 280 (chill tolerant) to acclimate to low temperature storage at 2 °C were compared following prior temperature preconditioning. The activities of catalase, peroxidase, and superoxide dismutase and electrolyte leakage were monitored during a 15-day preconditioning period. Low temperature preconditioning reduced membrane damage in both fruit. In contrast, high temperature preconditioning accelerated the rate of leakage in VFNT, while fruit of NY 280 remained relatively undamaged. Low temperature preconditioning stimulated a 4-fold increase in catalase and peroxidase activities in fruit of NY280. High-temperature preconditioning appeared only to benefit fruit of NY280. Regardless of pretreatment, no significant change in superoxide dismutase activities were observed for either cultivar. These findings suggest that the ability to acclimate to low temperature stress may correlate with increased levels of catalase and peroxidase.

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E.A. Baldwin, J.W. Scott, M.A. Einstein, T.M.M. Malundo, B.T. Carr, R.L. Shewfelt, and K.S. Tandon

The major components of flavor in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) and other fruit are thought to be sugars, acids, and flavor volatiles. Tomato overall acceptability, tomato-like flavor, sweetness, and sourness for six to nine tomato cultivars were analyzed by experienced panels using a nine-point scale and by trained descriptive analysis panels using a 15-cm line scale for sweetness, sourness, three to five aroma and three to seven taste descriptors in three seasons. Relationships between sensory data and instrumental analyses, including flavor volatiles, soluble solids (SS), individual sugars converted to sucrose equivalents (SE), titratable acidity (TA), pH, SS/TA, and SE/TA, were established using correlation and multiple linear regression. For instrumental data, SS/TA, SE/TA, TA, and cis-3-hexenol correlated with overall acceptability (P = 0.05); SE, SE/TA (P≤0.03), geranylacetone, 2+3-methylbutanol and 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one (P = 0.11) with tomato-like flavor; SE, pH, cis-3-hexenal, trans-2-hexenal, hexanal, cis-3-hexenol, geranylacetone, 2+3-methylbutanol, trans-2 heptenal, 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one, and 1-nitro-2-phenylethane (P≤0.11) with sweetness; and SS, pH, acetaldehyde, aceton, 2-isobutylthiazole, geranlyacetone, β-ionone, ethanol, hexanal and cis-3-hexenal with sourness (P≤0.15) for experienced or trained panel data. Measurements for SS/TA correlated with overall taste (P=0.09) and SS with astringency, bitter aftertaste, and saltiness (P≤0.07) for trained panel data. In addition to the above mentioned flavor volatiles, methanol and 1-penten-3-one significantly affected sensory responses (P = 0.13) for certain aroma descriptors. Levels of aroma compounds affected perception of sweetness and sourness and measurements of SS showed a closer relationship to sourness, astringency, and bitterness than to sweetness.