BACKGROUND: The effect of four cultivation parameters (post-maturity harvest date, storage period at 0 °C and input of nitrogen or potassium fertilisers) on the physico-chemical characteristics and composition of volatile compounds in kiwi fruit (Actinidia deliciosa) were evaluated. Five physico-chemical parameters were selected, namely, pH, total acidity, dry matter, conductivity and refractive index. To our knowledge, no published data are available concerning the influence of nitrogen or potassium fertilisers on the volatile compounds and physico-chemical parameters in kiwi fruit.
RESULTS: Except for total acidity, these parameters were only weakly influenced by cultivation parameters. The concentrations of five main volatile compounds [hexanal, (E)-hex-2-enal, hexan-2-ol, ethyl butyrate and hexanol] were also measured using gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. This work showed that the total content of volatile compounds decreased with post-maturity harvest date and storage period of 3 months. In contrast, the input levels of nitrogen and potassium had little effect on the concentrations of volatile components
CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates a high degree of difference in the physiochemical parameters and volatile composition of kiwi fruit, depending on the harvest date, the time of storage and the input of fertilisers. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry