Submitted to: Tomato Quality Workshop Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/30/2006
Publication Date: 5/8/2006
Citation: Baldwin, E.A., Goodner, K.L., Plotto, A. 2006. Understanding the contributions and interactions of sugars, acids and aroma volatiles to overall tomato flavor. Tomato Quality Workshop Proceedings. Paper No. 14.
Technical Abstract: The contribution and interaction of sugars, acids and volatiles to tomato (Lycoperscon esculentum Mill.) flavor is little understood. Coarsely chopped deodorized tomato puree was spiked with different levels of individual food grade volatiles, reported to contribute to tomato flavor, as well as two levels of fructose/glucose and citric/malic solutions and presented to a trained descriptive panel for flavor analysis. Fresh tomato homogenate was also analyzed by gas chromatography/olfactometry (GCO) and an aromagram generated. Based on descriptors resulting from the aromagram, past panel rating of these individual aroma compounds, volatiles were then grouped based on similarities of descriptors into "green", "earthy" and "fruity" mixtures, again added to bland homogenate at different levels and presented to a trained panel. Six to eight panelists rated 5 aroma, 8 taste, and 3 after-taste descriptors on a 15 cm unstructured line scale and data are an average of two panels. The "green" mix enhanced overall and green aromas while decreasing perception of tropical taste. The "earthy" mix enhanced perception of vine and earthy aromas, and sweet taste, while negatively impacting sour and ripe tomato taste. The "fruity" mix enhanced overall, sweet tomato, and tropical aromas as well as sweet, tropical and fruity tastes. This mix also negatively impacted perception of green and musty aromas as well as sour taste. The sugar/acid ratio of tomato puree was found to correlate with perception of taste descriptors sweet (+), sour (-), bitter (-) (P < 0.05), and citrus (-) (P < 0.15) for most volatiles tested. When sugars were added (Brix =19) then perception of overall, floral and musty aromas were impacted. Perception of floral aroma was also affected when acids were added (Brix= 4.88). Correlations were also found for the sugar/acid ratio with overall aftertaste (-) when the puree was spiked with furanol, trans-2-hexenal, geranylacetone, or acetaldehyde; fruity (+) with beta-ionone and linalool; and tropical (+) with cis-3-hexenal and geranylacetone (P < 0.15). The study suggests that increasing taste factors, like sweetness, results in decreased perception of tomato aroma in general, and affects how aroma compounds influence sensory descriptors.