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Chemical Studies of Yellow Tamarillo (Solanum betaceum Cav.) Fruit Flavor by Using a Molecular Sensory Approach.

ABSTRACT

The odor-active volatile compounds of yellow tamarillo fruit (S. betaceum Cav.) were identified and quantified by using a sensomics approach, combining a gentle volatile extraction (solvent-assisted flavor evaporation (SAFE)), gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and sensory analyses (gas chromatography-olfactometry (GC-O) and aroma extract dilution analysis (AEDA)). The medium-term purpose of this work is to evaluate the change of odor-active volatiles during processing. Thus, (Z)-3-hexenal, hexanal, and ethyl butanoate were identified as key aroma compounds of yellow tamarillo. The C₆-aliphatic compounds, aliphatic esters, and terpenols were characterized as the volatiles responsible for the herbal-green, fruity, and fresh-mint odor notes of this variety, respectively. Additionally, one non-volatile compound contributing to the residual bitter taste of this fruit was isolated by a bioguided (taste sensory analyses) fractionation. The freeze-dried fruit was sequentially liquid-liquid partitioned with solvents of different polarity, and then the ethyl acetate fraction was submitted to size exclusion chromatography. Then, its structure was elucidated as rosmarinic acid, by using common spectroscopic methods (mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)). The amount of rosmarinic acid was quantified as 46.17 ± 1.20 mg/100 g of dried fruit, by the external standard method. Its bitter taste threshold value was determined by using the 3AFC (alternative forced choice) method to be 37.00 ± 1.25 mg/L.