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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Physiology and Genetic Improvement of Small Fruit Crops

Location: Horticultural Crops Research

Title: Volatile Composition and Odour-Activity Value of Thornless 'Black Diamond' and 'Marion' Blackberries

Authors
item Du, Xiaofen -
item Finn, Chad
item Qian, Michael -

Submitted to: Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 17, 2009
Publication Date: April 1, 2010
Citation: Du, X., Finn, C.E., Qian, M. 2010. Volatile composition and odour-activity value of thornless 'Black Diamond' and 'Marion' blackberries. Food Chemistry. 119:1127-1134.

Interpretive Summary: The flavor of 'Marion' (aka marionberry) blackberry is one of its most highly prized attributes. A major reason for 'Marion' having such highly regarded flavor are its aromatic compounds. 'Marion' is the number one blackberry grown in the Pacific Northwest and is probably the most important blackberry for processing in the world. While its fruit quality is remarkable, it is thorny and when it is machine harvested, thorns can end up in the product and eventually in the consumers mouth presenting a legal liability. The USDA-ARS blackberry breeding program has had as a goal the development of high quality, thornless blackberries with flavor comparable to 'Marion'. 'Black Diamond' is one of their recent releases towards this goal, and it has been very widely planted. The goal of this research was to compare the volatile composition of these two cultivars. Fruit was harvested over different seasons and the volatiles from the fruit were analyzed. Although seasonal variations were present, the overall volatile profile in 'Marion' and 'Black Diamond' were very similar, but the concentrations of some aroma compounds varied greatly. Odour-activity value (OAV)indicated that furaneol, linalool, b-ionone, and hexanal could be most important in 'Marion', while in 'Black Diamond', the most important compounds were linalool, b-ionone, furaneol, and 2-heptanol. The major difference between the cultivars for aroma compounds was that 'Marion' had a 5 times higher OAV of furaneol than 'Black Diamond', while 'Black Diamond' had a 3 times higher OAV of linalool than 'Marion'. The chemical analysis results matched with the descriptive sensory evaluation that 'Marion' had more berry, fruity, strawberry aroma while 'Black Diamond' had more floral aroma. While 'Black Diamond' has excellent flavor, it has some distinctive differences that processors who are used to using 'Marion' need to be aware of when working with 'Black Diamond' fruit.

Technical Abstract: 'Black Diamond' is a recently developed thornless blackberry cultivar with large fruit size, high yield, and good processed fruit quality that has rapidly become an industry standard. The flavour of 'Black Diamond' fruit is not the same as 'Marion', which is regarded by the industry as having the ideal flavour. In order to understand the aroma differences, the volatile composition of 'Marion' and 'Black Diamond' was analysed using stir bar sorptive extraction-gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (SBSE-GC–MS) and solidphase extraction (SPE)-microvial insert thermal desorption-GC–MS for two growing seasons. Although seasonal variations were present, the overall volatile profile in 'Marion' and 'Black Diamond' were very similar, but the concentrations of some aroma compounds varied greatly. Odour-activity value (OAV) indicated that furaneol, linalool, b-ionone, and hexanal could be most important in 'Marion', while in 'Black Diamond', the most important compounds were linalool, b-ionone, furaneol, and 2-heptanol. The major difference between the cultivars for aroma compounds was that 'Marion' had a 5 times higher OAV of furaneol than 'Black Diamond', while 'Black Diamond' had a 3 times higher OAV of linalool than 'Marion'. The chemical analysis results matched with the descriptive sensory evaluation that 'Marion' had more berry, fruity, strawberry aroma while 'Black Diamond' had more floral aroma.

Last Modified: 4/19/2014
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