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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Flavor Trivia and Tomato Aroma: Biochemistry and Possible Mechanisms for Control of Important Aroma Components

Authors
item Baldwin, Elizabeth
item Scott, John - UNIV OF FLORIDA
item Shewmaker, Christine - CALGENE, INC
item Schuch, Wolfgang - ZENECA AGROCHEMICALS

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 15, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Flavor is an important quality factor in fresh fruits and vegetables. There have been many complaints, however, about the bland flavor of tomatoes. In order for tomato farmers to produce better tasting tomatoes, it must first be understood what compounds in the tomato are important to flavor. Once identified, then the levels at which these compounds should occur for optimal flavor can be determined. New varieties of tomatoes could then be tested and their flavor quality analyzed. Also the effects of harvesting, shipping and storage techniques could be evaluated to determine how they affect tomato flavor.

Technical Abstract: Consumers are often dissatisfied with the flavor of fresh tomatoes purchased in the supermarket. There are several reasons for this, ranging from poor quality genetic material to harvest and handling procedures. Thus, research is ongoing to determine the important flavor components in tomato in order to give breeders and molecular biologists access to objective flavor criteria for use in selection of high quality material. Furthermore, harvest and postharvest handling, shipping and storage procedures could be analyzed for their effect on important flavor components. Much progress has been made on identification of important flavor components in tomato, and determination of concentrations in fresh fruit, but optimal ranges and ratios for sugars, acids and aromatics that result in good flavor are not known. Work needs to be done to determine what instrumental and sensory methods are most effective for evaluation of important tomato flavor components and to establish relationships between instrumental measurements and sensory analysis. Then the effects of breeding, transformation, harvest maturity and postharvest handling could be assessed.

Last Modified: 7/24/2014
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