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INFLUENCE OF STORAGE ON BLUEBERRY VOLATILES

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SANTFORD V. OVERTON AND JOHN J. MANURA, Scientific Instrument Services, Inc., 1027 Old York Road, Ringoes, NJ 08551

The flavor/fragrance qualities of blueberries are greatly dependent on the volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds present both in the liquid matrix and the headspace aroma. There is a concern in the blueberry industry as to what effect time of storage and storage temperature have on the quality and flavor of blueberry to the consumer. To date, very little research has been done to compare the volatile organics in fresh fruit harvested directly from the field versus frozen fruit that has been stored for any length of time. The major volatiles of blueberries appear to be useful indices for determining maturity, and recently, the determination of flavor precursors and intermediates have become the target of flavor studies, and by examining these compounds we can determine what effect storage has on the quality and flavor of blueberry. The purpose of this investigation is to develop an analytical technique that could identify and compare a wide range of volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds in blueberry under different storage conditions. For this study, volatile organic compounds were purged from blueberry samples followed by trapping on Tenax® TA adsorbent resin using a dynamic purge and trap technique. The adsorbent traps were subsequently analyzed by thermal desorption-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (TD-GC-MS). The P&T technique permits the analysis of a wider range of both volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds amd is more sensitive than other techniques such as static headspace. program.

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