Variation in the composition of Cretan avocado cultivars during ripening

Authors

  • Stavroula A Vekiari,

    Corresponding author
    1. National Agricultural Research Foundation, Institute of Technology of Agricultural Products, 1 S Venizelou Street, GR-14123 Lycovrissi, Attiki, Greece
    • National Agricultural Research Foundation, Institute of Technology of Agricultural Products, 1 S Venizelou Street, GR-14123 Lycovrissi, Attiki, Greece
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  • Parthena P Papadopoulou,

    1. National Agricultural Research Foundation, Institute of Technology of Agricultural Products, 1 S Venizelou Street, GR-14123 Lycovrissi, Attiki, Greece
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  • Spiros Lionakis,

    1. National Agricultural Research Foundation, Institute of Subtropical Plants and Olive of Chania, Agrokipio, Souda, GR-73100 Chania, Crete, Greece
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  • Athanasios Krystallis

    1. National Agricultural Research Foundation, Institute of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, 5 Parthenonos Street, GR-14121 N Hrakleio, Athens, Greece
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Abstract

The effect of ripening on the chemical characteristics of fruits of the avocado (Persea americana) cultivars Ettinger, Fuerte and Hass was investigated. A study of some quality parameters of these main avocado cultivars grown on the island of Crete was performed. As the fruit ripened, a decrease in the moisture content was observed, with a high degree of correlation for all the cultivars. At the same time an increase in the fat and protein contents was measured. The content of total sugars was high in the unripe fruit but decreased during ripening. The fatty acid composition of the oil extracted from the fruit pulp was determined by gas chromatographic analysis. The oil of the edible portion of the fruit was rich in oleic, palmitic, linoleic and palmitoleic acids, while stearic acid was present in small quantities. During the ripening process the amount of palmitic acid decreased and that of oleic acid increased in all the cultivars. The ratio of polyunsaturated to saturated fatty acids, which is considered as an indicator of the nutritional value of the fruit, was also calculated. No significant differences were observed between the cultivars. Principal component analysis was also performed to examine the relationship among the quality variables of the cultivars. From these data, Fuerte was considered to be the cultivar with the best characteristics. Copyright © 2004 Society of Chemical Industry

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