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Impacts of minimal processing and hot water dipping of ‘Sonata’ strawberries on volatiles emitted during storage

Caleb, Oluwafemi J., Ilte, Kathrin, Herppich, Werner B., Geyer, Martin, Mahajan, Pramod V.
Scientia horticulturae 2019 v.243 pp. 385-391
acetaldehyde, acetates, butyrates, consumer acceptance, dipping, flavor, fruit puree, fruits, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, headspace analysis, hot water treatment, postharvest treatment, shelf life, strawberries, volatile organic compounds
Strawberries flavour attributes are important quality parameters that have a significant impact on consumer acceptability. Minimal processing and postharvest treatments in many cases neglect the importance of flavour attributes or sacrifice them for better appearance and/or longer shelf life. In addition, only few information is available on the impact of postharvest handling on flavour attributes. Thus, the objectives of this paper were to investigate: i) the effects of minimal processing on changes in composition and relative abundance (%) of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from strawberries; and ii) the effects of hot water treatments (45 °C) at different dipping duration (5 and 10 min) on the shift in VOC composition of ‘Sonata’ strawberries. Based on gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC–MS) analysis, the volatile profiles obtained for strawberries were significantly (p ≤ 0.05) influenced by minimal processing. Aldehydes were most abundant in strawberry puree (34.1%) compared to sliced samples (17.5%) and none were detected in the headspace of intact fruit. Esters were most abundant in the sliced samples (62.9%) compared to intact strawberries (51.2%) and fruit puree (≈ 49%) samples. Hot water treatment and dipping durations had significant impact on the synthesis of methyl and ethyl esters and acetaldehyde in comparison to the untreated (control) samples (p ≤ 0.05). At the end of storage, concentrations of methyl acetate (4.9 ± 0.86 mg mL−1), methyl butanoate (6.7 ± 0.05 mg mL−1), ethyl butanoate (0.6 ± 0.37 mg mL−1), and acetaldehyde (3.1 ± 0.99 mg mL−1) were lowest in strawberries dipped in hot water at 45 °C for 10 min. In contrast, hot water treatment with dipping duration of 5 min best maintained and enhanced the synthesis of methyl butanoate and prevented the accumulation of methyl isobutyl ketone. This study showed that minimal processing had a significant impact on the volatile profile of ‘Sonata’ strawberries, and that hot water treatments play a crucial role on the emission of volatile compounds.