Substrates controlling the formation of branched chain volatile esters in ripening bananas were investigated by the application of alcohol and amino acid precursors to whole fruit and tissue samples. The resulting changes in the profile of the volatile esters were determined using SPME and GC. These changes revealed the selectivity characteristics of the esterification enzyme AAT, the availability of acyl CoA's for ester formation, and the role of substrate supply on volatile production. The results obtained suggest that substrate supply is a major determinant of the quantitative and qualitative composition of the resulting aroma profile. Keywords: Banana ripening; branched chain esters; alcohol acyltransferase; substrate supply; aroma profile; Musa sp.
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