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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Healthy Processed Foods Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #384603

Research Project: New Technologies and Methodologies for Increasing Quality, Marketability and Value of Food Products and Byproducts

Location: Healthy Processed Foods Research

Title: Genetic variation in flavor of Prosopis mesocarp flours

item Takeoka, Gary
item Dao, Lan
item FELKER, PETER - D'Arrigo Brothers

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/29/2021
Publication Date: 12/7/2021
Citation: Takeoka, G.R., Dao, L.T., Felker, P. 2021. Genetic variation in flavor of Prosopis mesocarp flours. In: Puppo, M.C., Felker, P. Prosopis as a Heat Tolerant Nitrogen Fixing Desert Food Legume. Cambridge, MA. Elsevier Inc. p.319-331.

Interpretive Summary: Mesquite is the common name in North America for leguminous desert plants of the genus Prosopis that has about 44 species native to North America, South America, Africa, and South Asia. The plant has attracted attention due to its ability to tolerate high temperatures and low rainfall, its capacity to grow in saline soil and its ability to fix nitrogen. Consumption of mesquite-derived foods has been linked to antibacterial, cardioprotective and anti-inflammatory health effects. Odor unit values calculated from concentration and odor threshold data identified 30 constituents (odor units > 1) that are important contributors to mesquite flour aroma. The unpleasant flavor of P. juliflora pods may be due to the high concentrations of citric acid (1.22-2.94 g/100 g) compared to the lower concentrations found in P. alba (0.40-0.69 g/100 g) and P. pallida (0.80-0.92 g/100 g).

Technical Abstract: Pods of some Prosopis species are high in sugars, mainly sucrose, and were a major energy source for indigenous people who recognized flavor variations in natural populations and selected trees for flavor. The pleasant cinnamon, cocoa, coffee, hazelnut and coconut aroma of mesquite flour is due to a variety of pyrazines, sulfur compounds, aldehydes, alcohols, ketones, phenols, lactones and esters. The most important contributors to the odor of mesquite flour are 2,5-dimethyl-3-pyrazine, dimethyl trisulfide, 1-octen-3-ol, 3-penten-2-one, hexanal, 2 methoxyphenol, 5,6-dihydro-6-propyl-2H-pyran-2-one, massoia lactone (5,6-dihydro-6-pentyl-2H-pyran-2-one), 3-methylbutanoic acid, 4-methylphenol, 2-methoxy-4-vinylphenol, '-nonalactone, methyl cinnamate, 2,3,5-trimethylpyrazine, 2,5-dimethylpyrazine, acetophenone, 2-pentadecanone, dimethyl disulfide, methyl salicylate, benzaldehyde, 3-methylphenol, and 2,6 dimethylpyrazine. Hexanal, a rancidity indicator, was 5-fold higher in flours containing seeds. Citric acid concentrations of mesocarp flour ranged from 1.22-2.94 g/100 g in P. juliflora, 0.40-0.69 g/100 g in P. alba, and 0.80-0.92 g/100 g in P. pallida and was associated with unpleasant flavor in P. juliflora pods.