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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Citrus and Other Subtropical Products Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #306328

Title: Heat treatment alleviation of chilling-induced suppression of aroma volatile levels

item WANG, LIBIN - Nanjing Agricultural University
item Baldwin, Elizabeth - Liz
item Zhao, Wei
item Plotto, Anne
item SUN, XIUXIU - Wayne State University
item WANG, ZHE - Jilin University
item Bai, Jinhe
item BRECHT, JEFFREY - University Of Florida

Submitted to: Proceedings of Florida State Horticultural Society
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/20/2015
Publication Date: 12/31/2014
Citation: Wang, L., Baldwin, E.A., Zhao, W., Plotto, A., Sun, X., Wang, Z., Bai, J., Brecht, J. 2014. Heat treatment alleviation of chilling-induced suppression of aroma volatile levels. Proceedings of Florida State Horticultural Society. 127:124-130.

Interpretive Summary: Consumers have noticed a significant decline in flavor quality over the years and flavor is a major source of consumer complaints in tomato. Inappropriate postharvest conditions, such as chilling temperatures are among the key factors that cause flavor loss. This study investigated how a short exposure of tomato fruit to low temperature at the mature green stage impacts flavor quality, and that a pre-chilling heat treatment alleviated flavor loss.

Technical Abstract: Chilling exposure of tomatoes to 5 °C for longer than 6-8 days can cause surface pitting, irregular (blotchy) color development and other symptoms of chilling injury (CI). The objectives for this study were to investigate whether a 4-day exposure of tomato fruit to 5 °C chilling temperature at the mature green stage of development would impact flavor quality after ripening, and if a pre-chilling heat treatment could alleviate the internal CI. Mature green ‘FL 47’ tomatoes were gassed with ethylene and then divided into the following four treatments: 1) heat treated in 52 °C hot water for 5 min, then exposed to 5 °C for 4 days before being transferred to 20 °C, or 2) heat treated then placed directly at 20°C without chilling, 3) chilled at 5 °C for 4 days then transferred to 20 °C without prior heat treatment, and 4) untreated control, stored and ripened at 20 °C. All samples were held at 20°C until ripened. Fruit were analyzed at the red-ripe stage for volatile components and submitted to a sensory panel for aroma evaluation. Results showed that chilling treatment generally suppressed production of aldehyde, alcohol, ketone, ester, sulfur, and terpene volatile compounds, including the following abundant and/or important volatiles: hexanal, 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one, ß-ionone, 2-methylbutanal, 2-phenylethanol, guaiacol and 2-isobutylthiazole. Heat treatment alone did not affect most volatile levels after ripening. Heat treatment prior to chilling exposure alleviated the reduction of volatile compounds caused by chilling exposure, which agreed with the sensory panel results in that panelists preferred “heating + chilling” treated fruit over fruit that were chilled only.