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Sugar type, concentration influence apple juice flavor and aroma intensity.

One of the main drivers that influence the consumer acceptance of apples is the extent of their sweetness. In reality, an individual apple's sugar content may vary greatly between different apple cultivars and within the same cultivar.

The amount of sugars and malic acid in each variety determines the balance of sweetness and tartness in the fruit. For example, the more malic acid and fewer sugars present, the stronger the flavor and the greater the likelihood of retaining the flavor when the apple is cooked. For example, Bramley apples have a low sugar-to-acid ratio, giving them a characteristic tangy flavor, which is strong enough to be retained during the cooking process.

The objective of scientists at Washington State University was to determine the influence of sugar concentration on apple flavor and aroma intensity. Their findings can assist breeders in developing apple selections with sugar profiles that result in optimal apple aroma and flavor

Forty-eight model apple juice samples were prepared using different concentrations of sucrose, fructose and glucose, and a fixed concentration of six apple aroma and flavor compounds. All concentrations were selected to mimic the composition of an apple.

Ten panelists were trained to evaluate apple aroma, flavor, sweetness and sourness intensity in various apple solutions. The researchers analyzed data from the final evaluations. To do so, they used three-way analysis of variance testing, with means separation by Tukey's honest significant difference test, which is a single-step multiple comparison procedure and statistical test.

Results showed that apple aroma intensity in the model solutions was impacted by sucrose and glucose concentrations. Apple flavor intensity was significantly influenced by the interactions between: sucrose and fructose; fructose and glucose; and sucrose, fructose and glucose. Perceived sweetness and sourness were also impacted by the sucrose-fructose interaction, and in the case of sweetness, by the interaction of sucrose, fructose and glucose.

These results suggest that both the type of sugar and sugar concentration influence the perception of apple flavor and aroma. Moreover, increasing the sugar concentration, especially sucrose, results in a more intense apple aroma and flavor.

Further information. Carolyn F. Ross, School of Food Science, FSHN 122, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164; phone: 509-335-2438; fax: 509-335-4815; email:

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Publication:Emerging Food R&D Report
Date:Nov 1, 2017
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