Flavor quality of fruits and vegetables



Fruits and vegetables are important sources of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and antioxidants. The relative contribution of each commodity to human health and wellness depends upon its nutritive value and per capita consumption; the latter is greatly influenced by consumer preferences and degree of satisfaction from eating the fruit or vegetable. Flavor quality of fruits and vegetables is influenced by genetic, preharvest, harvesting, and postharvest factors. The longer the time between harvest and eating, the greater the losses of characteristic flavor (taste and aroma) and the development of off-flavors in most fruits and vegetables. Postharvest life based on flavor and nutritional quality is shorter than that based on appearance and textural quality. Thus, it is essential that good flavor quality be emphasized in the future by selecting the best-tasting genotypes to produce, by using an integrated crop management system and harvesting at the maturity or ripeness stage that will optimize eating quality at the time of consumption, and by using the postharvest handling procedures that will maintain optimal flavor and nutritional quality of fruits and vegetables between harvest and consumption. Copyright © 2008 Society of Chemical Industry