The Effects of Ripening and Cold Storage on the Volatile Profiles of Three Japanese Plum Cultivars (Prunus salicina Lindl.) and One Interspecific Plum-apricot Cultivar

Esmé D. Louw, Karen I. Theron


Volatile compounds contribute greatly to the flavour of fruit and can be altered by maturity and cold storage. The volatiles of three Japanese plum cultivars (‘Sapphire’, ‘Songold’, and ‘Larry Anne’) and one plumcot (‘Flavor King’) were determined at three functional stages: commercial harvest, tree-ripened fruit and cold stored fruit. HS-SPME was used for extraction and GC-TOFMS for separation and identification. A total of 52 compounds was found and classified into three groups (‘unique’ (28), ‘generic’ (10) and ‘frequent’ (14)) based on frequency of occurrence. Discriminant analysis showed that the volatile profiles of the three functional stages were distinct within each cultivar, and the main contributors to the patterns were identified. The volatile profiles of ‘Larry Anne’ and ‘Flavor King’ were the most affected by cold storage conditions. Inter-cultivar analysis indicated that the cultivars have different volatile profiles at each of the functional groups with ‘Larry Anne’ and ‘Flavor King’ showing the largest differences. ‘Flavor King’, a plumcot, presented a ripe volatile profile that was much diverged from that of the true plums.

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Journal of Agricultural Science   ISSN 1916-9752 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9760 (Online)  E-mail:

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