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Identification of aroma- Active compounds of whole and macerated 'Honeycrisp' and 'Ambrosia' apples

FORNEY, C. F., JORDAN, M. A. & CUE, K. R. 2016. Identification of aroma- Active compounds of whole and macerated 'Honeycrisp' and 'Ambrosia' apples. Acta Horticulturae, 1120, 137-142.


‘Honeycrisp’ and ‘Ambrosia’ apples (Malus x domestica Borkh.) are two new popular cultivars with unique textural and flavour properties. However, flavour can be lost during storage or if fruit are not harvested at proper maturity. Identification of compounds responsible for desirable flavour is needed to aid in its optimization. Therefore, to identify and rank odour active compounds in ‘Honeycrisp’ and ‘Ambrosia’ apple fruit, volatiles were collected on adsorbent collection tubes from whole and macerated fruit of commercial maturity from 3 orchards. Aroma-active compounds were identified using gas chromatography with mass spectrometry and olfactory detection. A trained sensory panel of 6 evaluators identified, described and ranked the intensity of aroma-active compounds. In whole ‘Honeycrisp’ apples, 16 compounds were identified 3 or more times by panellists representing 11 esters, 2 acids, 1 aldehyde, 1 phenylpropene and 1 unknown. The most intense aromas were from the esters butyl acetate, ethyl 2-methylbutanoate, hexyl acetate, 2-methylbutyl acetate, and ethyl butanoate and were all described as fruity. In whole ‘Ambrosia’ apples 25 aroma-active compounds were identified representing 12 esters, 4 acids, 2 alcohols, 1 aldehyde, 1 terpene, 1 phenylpropene, and 4 unknowns. The most intense aromas were from hexyl acetate, 2-methylbutyl acetate, butyl acetate, ethyl 2-methylbutanoate and 2-methylpropyl acetate, which were also described as fruity. When fruit were macerated to imitate chewing, some compounds were no longer detected and new compounds were produced. Maceration induced substantial quantities of hexanal in both cultivars, which imparts a “green” odour and ranked among the top 3 compounds for intensity.

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