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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Byron, Georgia » Fruit and Tree Nut Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #347180

Research Project: Breeding Stone Fruit Adapted to the Production Environment of the Southeastern United States

Location: Fruit and Tree Nut Research

Title: Individual sugar and acid composition within southeastern peach germplasm

Author
item Burrell Iii, Ralph - Clemson University
item Abdelghafar, Asma - Clemson University
item Gasic, Ksenija - Clemson University
item Reighard, Gregory - Clemson University
item Okie, William - Retired ARS Employee
item Chen, Chunxian

Submitted to: American Society of Horticulture Science Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/19/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Peaches flavor and sweetness are primarily determined by the composition of sugars and acids. Peach fruits were harvested at the commercially ripe stage from 14 commonly grown cultivars from the Southeastern region over three seasons (2013-2015) and in 43 selections and cultivars from the Clemson University peach germplasm collection over two seasons (2014-2015), which were used to quantify four sugars (sucrose, fructose, glucose, alcohol sorbitol) and five acids (malic, citric, quinic, shikimic, and fumaric). Total sugars varied among cultivars, ripening season and environment. The predominant sugar was sucrose, and the major acids were malic and citric acid. Only slight differences were observed in the individual sugar/acid ratios among the 14 commercially significant cultivars. The data facilitates understanding of the sugar and acid profiles among these materials and may help breeding cultivars with new sugar and acid profiles.

Technical Abstract: eaches grown in the southeast are valued for their acidic, sweet flavor. A complex mixture of various sugars and acids at different ratios play a key role in determining these unique peach flavor attributes. To understand the flavor profile of fresh market peaches, individual sugar and acid components were investigated in 14 commonly grown cultivars from the Southeastern region over three seasons (2013-2015), and in 43 selections and cultivars from the Clemson University peach germplasm collection over two seasons (2014-2015). Fruits were harvested at the commercially ripe stage as determined by flesh firmness and by the chlorophyll content (IAD index). A composite flesh sample from 5 fruits for each genotype was analyzed using HPLC to quantify four sugars: sucrose, fructose, glucose and sugar alcohol sorbitol, and five acids: malic, citric, quinic, shikimic, and fumaric, commonly found in peach. Total sugars (sucrose, fructose, glucose and sorbitol) were highly influenced by cultivar, ripening season and environment. Similar levels of sucrose, fructose, glucose and sorbitol were accumulated in fruit of peach cultivars for all ripening groups. The predominant sugar was sucrose, while the major acids were malic and citric acid. Only slight differences were observed in the individual sugar/acid ratios among the 14 commercially significant cultivars. Significant differences were discovered within the more genetically diverse breeding germplasm. These selections provide an opportunity to introduce a more diverse set of individual sugar and acid profiles within breeding programs through selective crossing, which could eventually lead to new flavor profiles for the peach market.