2013 Annual Report
Tangerine hybrids were harvested multiple times over two harvest seasons and analyzed for flavor volatiles as well as sensory evaluation. Results provide information on the effect of season and maturity on flavor volatile formation in citrus, which in turn will help determine harvest time for optimum eating quality. It was found that some of the new hybrids had a larger harvest window than the commercial variety standard. For example, the optimum maturity of a new University of Florida hybrid, UF 411, was determined to be from Mid-January to end of March, in contrast to ‘Murcott’ for which eating quality declined after mid-March. Furthermore, the volatile profile in UF 411 was different from that of ‘Murcott’, its female parent, UF 411 having more esters and less aldehydes, and resulting in more orange-like and fruity flavor. Taste and flavor components could be explained by amounts of specific volatiles: limonene and monoterpenes explained bitterness in ‘Murcott’, alpha- and beta-phellandrene explained floral flavor. “Pumpkin” flavor, an indicator of overripe fruit, was explained by different volatile components in Murcott than for UF 411, but in general, aldehydes, ketones and alcohols explained this peculiar flavor. Understanding the components of flavor in tangerine fruit is important for management of harvest and storage of tangerine fruit in order to deliver quality fruit on the market.