Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/2/2001
Publication Date: 9/1/2001
Citation: Palma-Harris, C., Mcfeeters, R.F., Fleming, H.P. 2001. Solid-phase microextraction (spme) technique for measurement of generation of fresh cucumber flavor compounds. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 49:4203-4207.
Interpretive Summary: Fresh cucumbers do not actually contain the odor and flavor we associate with when eating cucumbers. The flavor impact components are formed within seconds as we disrupt the cucumber by cutting or chewing. When we do mild processing of cucumbers into products like non-acidified refrigerated pickles, the fresh cucumber flavor is important to the quality of the product. However, due to the rapid dynamic process of flavor formation, it is difficult to determine the effect that different types of processing or storage might have on the flavor of the final product. This project developed a method to measure the ability of cucumbers to produce fresh cucumber flavors as the cucumber tissue is disrupted. This will help researchers and processors determine the effect that new processing methods, designed to improve the safety of mildly processed cucumber products, might have on the flavor of the products.
Technical Abstract: Investigations were carried out to determine if flavor compounds characteristic for fresh cucumbers could be rapidly determined using a solid-phase microextraction (SPME) dynamic headspace sampling method and flame ionization detector (FID) gas chromatography (GC). Cucumbers were sampled during blending for fresh cucumber flavor compounds (E,Z)-2,6-nonadienal and (E)-2-nonenal. A temperature program for the GC was devised such that the two target compounds were separated and baseline resolved. Relative standard deviations for analysis of both (E,Z)-2,6-nonadienal and (E)-2-nonenal using this SPME sampling method were +/-10%. Utility of the analytical method was demonstrated by determining the effect of heat treatments on the ability of cucumbers to produce these flavor impact compounds.