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Effect of refrigerated storage (12.5°C) on tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fruit flavor: A biochemical and sensory analysis

Ponce-Valadez, Mónica, Escalona-Buendía, Héctor B., Villa-Hernández, Juan Manuel, de León-Sánchez, Fernando Díaz, Rivera-Cabrera, Fernando, Alia-Tejacal, Iran, Pérez-Flores, Laura J.
Postharvest biology and technology 2016 v.111 pp. 6-14
Solanum lycopersicum, alcohol dehydrogenase, biochemical pathways, butanol, cold storage, enzyme activity, flavor, gene expression, hexanols, lipoxygenase, off odors, oxylipins, postharvest technology, refrigeration, sensory evaluation, shelf life, tomatoes
Refrigeration is the main postharvest technology for increasing shelf life of horticultural products; however, it has a detrimental effect on tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) flavor. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effect of refrigerated storage at 12.5°C on tomato aroma profile, sensory quality, and consumer’s flavor perception. C6 and 3-methyl butanol volatile levels were determined by GC. Enzyme activity and gene expression of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and lipoxygenase (LOX), involved in the oxylipin biosynthetic pathway were also determined. A quantitative descriptive analysis (QDA) and a consumer test were carried out to compare the effect of refrigerated storage on flavor perception at 10°C and 12.5°C to non-refrigerated tomatoes. Refrigerated storage at 12.5°C caused a general decrease on total aroma volatiles that were detected from 9d onward. A lack of accumulation of hexanal, hexanol and cis-3-hexenol, a transitory increase of trans-2-hexenol and the accumulation of 3-methyl butanol were observed. Trained judges perceived these changes as an increase of the musty/damp descriptor which was higher in fruit stored at 10°C than at 12.5°C. Tomatoes stored at 10°C were the less preferred by consumers perceived as less fresh and with the presence of off odors. Consumers did not find differences between tomato stored at 12.5°C and 20°C. Results showed that tomato fruit stored at 12.5°C maintain a better sensory quality than those stored at 10°C.