Submitted to: Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2010
Publication Date: 3/1/2011
Citation: Miyazaki, T., Plotto, A., Goodner, K., Gmitter, F. 2011. Distribution of aroma volatile compounds in tangerine hybrids and proposed inheritance. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 91:449-460. Interpretive Summary: The delicate flavor of tangerines is composed of a complex combination of volatile compounds. Volatiles from a population of tangerine hybrids were analyzed, identified and semi-quantified. Complex multivariate statistical analyses showed the relationship between hybrids and their parents in relation to volatile composition. In some instances, the production of some compounds was determined by the male, or the female parent. In other cases, compounds were produced by the progeny but not by the parent. Hybrids that had sweet orange in their genetic background produced volatiles that would impart fruity notes. This information will help generating new varieties of tangerines with an optimum flavor.
Technical Abstract: With the desirable combination of sugars and acids, volatile compounds contribute to the essential organoleptic attributes of citrus. This study evaluated the aroma volatiles of 20 tangerine hybrids of the University of Florida breeding program. Volatiles were sampled from hand-squeezed juice by headspace solid phase microextraction (SPME), and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Principal components analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis (CA) were used to find similarities among samples due to volatile composition with effect of genetic background. In total, 203 volatiles were identified in all samples. Volatiles in lower amount were widely distributed among samples, and were classified mainly as terpene hydrocarbons and oxygenated compounds, such as aldehydes, esters, alcohols and ketones. PCA, based on relative peak areas (content) clearly separated the samples higher in volatile content, mainly those with sweet orange genetic contributions in their background. CA, based on volatile presence/absence, grouped samples into five clusters, each showing distinctive volatile profiles. The genetic background of tangerine hybrids affected volatile composition and content of samples. In general, tangerines were characterized by less volatiles (in both quality and quantity) and more aldehydes, and hybrids with sweet orange in their background had more sesquiterpenes and esters, which would likely affected their aroma.