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Relationships between volatile composition and sensory evaluation in eight varieties of netted muskmelon (Cucumis melo L var reticulatus Naud)

Senesi, E., Lo Scalzo, R., Prinzivalli, C., Testoni, A.
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2002 v.82 no.6 pp. 655-662
melons, volatile compounds, gas chromatography, odors, esters, cultivars, Cucumis melo, firmness, brix, titratable acidity, sugars, ascorbic acid, vitamin content, sweetness
The quality parameter of muskmelon (Cucumis melo L var reticulatus Naud) is often identified with the sugar content, particularly sucrose. However, high soluble solids concentration at harvest does not always correspond with high overall fruit quality and should be used in conjunction with the evaluation of aroma. In order to find quality indices, correlations were checked between aroma compounds detected on the melon pulp by headspace gas chromatography and sensory evaluation. Eight cultivars of muskmelon were analysed for their aroma content and other quality parameters. Aroma compounds were mainly esters, while (Z)-6-nonenal and (E)-6-nonenol, characteristic of melon, were not detected with the technique used. The data were subjected to statistical analyses in order to find significant correlations. High values of correlation were not found between chromatographic and sensory data, but a high correlation was found between total aromas and ethyl esters, both data of analytical source. This fact means that ethyl esters could be very important compounds for melon flavour and could be considered as markers of a good-quality aroma.