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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Some Unusual Minor Volatile Components of Tomato

Authors
item Buttery, Ron
item Takeoka, Gary

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 10, 2004
Publication Date: September 1, 2004
Citation: Buttery, R.G., Takeoka, G.R., 2004. Some unusual minor volatile components of tomato. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 52:6264-6266.

Interpretive Summary: The control of flavor in fresh and processed tomatoes requires a knowledge of the compounds responsible for both desirable and undesirable flavor. The manuscript discusses the identities and probable origins of three minor components of tomato. These are pentyl nitrate, 5-ethyl-2(5H)-furanone and 5-ethylcyclopentene-1-carbaldehyde. Pentyl nitrate is of interest because alkyl nitrates had not been previously found in fresh vegetables or fruits before, and also the fact that pentyl nitrate is a vasodilator. 5-Ethyl-2-(5H)-furanone in tomato was found to be formed from the breakdown of (Z)-3-hexenal, the major flavor and aroma compound of fresh tomato. 5-Ethylcyclopenten-1-carbaldehyde is an unusual breakdown product of tomato lipid. Although these compounds occur in only minute amounts in the tomato samples studied; there may be cases, in breeding new varieties or using different fertilizing and other growing conditions, where these compounds could occur in much higher amounts.

Technical Abstract: This manuscript discusses the identities and probable origins of three minor volatile components of tomato. The most interesting is 5-ethyl-2(5H)-furanone because its formation represents an additional pathway for the degradation of the key tomato aroma component (Z)-3-hexenal. The identification of pentyl nitrate is of interest because no volatile alkyl nitrates had previously been reported in vegetables and fruits, and the fact that it is a vasodilator may be important in future studies on compounds in foods which could effect human physiology. The identification of 5-ethylcyclopentene-1-carbaldehyde shows that this unusual lipid oxidation product can occur in fresh vegetables besides its first discovery in cooked meat products. Although the compounds discussed occur in minute amounts in the tomato samples studied, there may be cases in breeding new varieties, or in using different fertilizing and other growing conditions, where these compounds could occur in much higher amounts.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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