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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 #308799

Title: Suppression of volatile production in tomato fruit exposed to chilling temperature and alleviation of chilling injury by a pre-chilling heat treatment

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 BRECHT, JEFFREY - University Of Florida
item Bai, Jinhe
item YU, ZHIFANG - Nanjing Agricultural University

Submitted to: LWT - Food Science and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/20/2015
Publication Date: 1/8/2015
Citation: Wang, L., Baldwin, E.A., Zhao, W., Plotto, A., Sun, X., Wang, Z., Brecht, J., Bai, J., Yu, Z. 2015. Suppression of volatile production in tomato fruit exposed to chilling temperature and alleviation of chilling injury by a pre-chilling heat treatment. LWT - Food Science and Technology. 62:115-121.

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

Technical Abstract: Chilling exposure of tomato fruit to 5 °C for less than 5 days at mature green stage does not cause visual symptom of chilling injury (CI), however, it is unknown whether such conditions would impact flavor quality (internal CI) after ripening, and if a pre-chilling heat treatment could alleviate internal CI. In this experiment, mature green ‘FL 47’ tomatoes were gassed with ethylene to initiate ripening before heating and/or chilling treatment, and fruits were ripened at 20 °C after short exposure to the high or low temperature. Volatile analysis of the fruits were conducted after ripening. Chilling treatment generally suppressed production of aldehyde, alcohol, ketone, ester, acid and terpene volatile compounds, including the following abundant and/or important volatiles: hexanal, trans-2-hexenal, 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 sensory panel results in that panelists preferred “heating + chilling” treated fruit over fruit that were chilled only.