What is the unique flavor profile of each fruit?

Unlike fruit size and yield, the taste is a unique feature that is difficult to measure in the real world. So, how do breeders and farmers around the world choose a particular flavor over others (and have happy customers)? To answer this question, a team of researchers at the University of Florida examined more than 100 varieties of tomatoes and blueberries from the university’s breeding program.

These uses include commercial species and breeds. Heritage or heritage species refers to those that grow in small, neutral pockets, and are not as large as their counterparts on the market.

The study included taking each of these and matching their metabolism to user panel ratings. The metabolism refers to the set of all the chemical reactions that take place in the body cell, the whole set of metabolites, and the window that leads directly to the “organic physiological state.” Consumers’ sensory panel consisted of an average of 80 participants from different races and ages to determine the 100-point scale for sweetness, bitterness, flavor strength and overall liking.

This fictional method is more useful than other similar studies because it often involves the emotional choices of a few individuals and therefore they are prone to error and bias. Not only that, but it has so far provided a more direct view of the taste preferences of scientists based on their acid content, soluble solids, and strength.

The aforementioned experiments predate taste perceptions based on their chemical profile. These predictions were made using a total of eighteen mathematical models prior to the metabolism of consumer-sensory neurons.

The taste of any food is the result of a complex interaction between genetics and the environment, resulting in a unique chemical composition of sugar / acid and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). When sugar and acids are absorbed by the tongue, VOSs are identified by the nose. So can the exercise encourage the various chemicals and pathways that are responsible for the taste of the fruit and ‘guess how sweet the fruit will be’? And, if successful, will fruit-bearing metabolism allow breeders to target specific genetic makeup (hereinafter referred to as ‘genotype’) that determines those physical characteristics?

Approximately 59% of flavors in both tomatoes and blueberries (measured as “general liking”) – determined by volatile organic compounds (VOCs). On the other hand, sugar / acids are found in about 77% sour in tomatoes and 66% sweet in blueberries. Glucose and fructose – both sugars – are the main drivers of sweetness in both tomatoes and blueberries as well as ‘general love’; Acids are very responsible for the acidity. Mutable compounds are divided into biochemical pathways. The taste of tomatoes is largely determined by the variability of phenylalanine and lipids; But in blueberries, much depends on the variability of lipids, esters, carotenoids, and turpentine.

When researchers employed genetic sequences, they had complete genomic sequences for 70 tomato species, to predict user sensory levels, all of these complex traits, especially for sweetness and overall taste prediction, are more genomic than metabolic choice. would like.’

The key to the study, therefore, is to link the metabolic profile to a specific genotype. This allows agronomists to choose the best information from different genotypes – and ultimately have a happy customer base. The authors warn, however, that the contribution of special chemicals to the overall taste of the fruit depends on cultural preferences and the geographical composition of the sample we choose to study.

The author is a researcher at the Institute of Science in India (IISc), Bengalru, and Freelance Science Communication. He tweeted on @Critical


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