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Aroma and soluble solid contents of the uvaia—a native Atlantic rainforest fruit—are negatively affected by early harvest

Freitas, Thais Pádua, Spricigo, Poliana Cristina, Purgatto, Eduardo, Jacomino, Angelo Pedro
Journal of food biochemistry 2019 v.43 no.7 pp. e12881
Eugenia pyriformis, antioxidant activity, carbon dioxide, carotenoids, color, commercialization, ethylene, flavonoids, fruit quality, fruits, harvest date, odors, phenolic compounds, rain forests, ripening, shelf life, titratable acidity, total soluble solids, volatile compounds
The uvaia (Eugenia pyriformis Cambess) is a native Atlantic Rainforest Myrtaceae that produces acidic yellow‐orange fruit with a peculiar aroma. Its postharvest conservation poses a challenge, due to high perishability. This study investigated the postharvest quality of uvaia fruit during three ripening stages stored at 22ºC. The quality attributes were evaluated: skin color, soluble solids, titratable acidity, flavonoids, carotenoids, phenolic compounds, antioxidant capacity, and volatile compounds at the beginning and end of the fruit's shelf life. Respiration (CO₂) and C₂H₄ production were determined daily. No relationship between ripening stage and respiration was observed, but C₂H₄ production increased with ripening stage. Green fruit reached the same skin color, titratable acidity, flavonoids, carotenoids phenolic compounds, and antioxidant activity of mature fruit, also displaying increased shelf life. Green fruit also presented lower soluble solids. The volatile compounds that give green fruit characteristic aroma were persistent. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Aroma and soluble solids content are important factors in determining the fruit quality. This work identified how these factors are affected by early uvaia fruit harvesting. Such information assists in determining the uvaia ideal harvesting point, providing better sensory quality, and increasing the fruit acceptance. Early harvesting at different ripening stages, in addition to prolonging the shelf life of the harvested fruit, is also a tool for understanding physiological processes. This study disseminates unpublished knowledge about uvaia, arousing interest in this native fruit and facilitating its commercialization.