Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2014
Publication Date: 2/15/2017
Citation: Plotto, A., Bai, J., Baldwin, E.A. 2017. Fruits. In: Buettner, A. (ed.). Springer Handbook of Odor, Springer. Chapter 9, pages 171-190.
Interpretive Summary: Tomatoes and citrus (all species combined) are the most produced crops worldwide, and are consumed as fresh or processed in juice, cans, paste, marmelade, pickles, etc. On the other hand, flavors of strawberries, oranges, lemon, and apples are the most sold by flavor companies and used in food or pharmaceutical preparations. Volatiles produced by those fruits (tomato, citrus, apples and strawberries) are reviewed with the emphasis of their olfactory properties and their contribution to flavor.
Technical Abstract: In a botanical sense, fruits are the developed part of the seed-containing ovary. Evolutionarily speaking, plants have developed fruit with the goal of attracting insects, birds, reptiles and mammals to spread the seeds. Fruit can be dry such as the pod of a pea, or fleshy such as a peach. As humans, we enjoy fleshy fruits for their flavor and nutritional value. This chapter reviews the common volatiles that are produced by the major fruits with commercial value: tomato, citrus, apples and strawberries. Some volatile compounds are commonly produced by all crops, simply by the fact of common biosynthetic pathways, while other compounds are specific to certain fruit species. Fruit specific aroma depend on species, cultivar, growing conditions and developmental and maturity stage. In the end however, what gives a fruit its specific flavor is the combination of volatile and non-volatile compounds, including sugars, acids, and other water soluble and insoluble compounds.