Evolution of Soluble Sugars During Ripening of Papaya Fruit and its Relation to Sweet Taste

Authors

  • M. Gomez,

    1. Authors Gomez, Lajolo, and Cordenunsi are with the Departamento de Alimentos e Nutricao Experimental, Faculdade de Ciencias Farmaceuticas, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Av. Lineu Prestes, 580-CEP 05508-900-SP Sao Paulo-Brazil. Direct inquiries to author Cordenunsi (E-mail: Hojak@usp.br).
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  • F. Lajolo,

    1. Authors Gomez, Lajolo, and Cordenunsi are with the Departamento de Alimentos e Nutricao Experimental, Faculdade de Ciencias Farmaceuticas, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Av. Lineu Prestes, 580-CEP 05508-900-SP Sao Paulo-Brazil. Direct inquiries to author Cordenunsi (E-mail: Hojak@usp.br).
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  • B. Cordenunsi

    1. Authors Gomez, Lajolo, and Cordenunsi are with the Departamento de Alimentos e Nutricao Experimental, Faculdade de Ciencias Farmaceuticas, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Av. Lineu Prestes, 580-CEP 05508-900-SP Sao Paulo-Brazil. Direct inquiries to author Cordenunsi (E-mail: Hojak@usp.br).
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  • This work was supported by Fundação de Amparo á Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP). The authors thank the Coordenadoria Aperfeiçoamento Pessoal Ensino Superior (CAPES) for research scholarships, and Dr. Maria Aparecida Azevedo Pereira da Silva (UNICAMP) for supervising sensory analysis and for her suggestions during this paper's writing.

Abstract

ABSTRACT: Fruit ripening is closely associated with compositional and structural changes which can occur before or after harvesting. In papaya fruit, the period of sugar synthesis and accumulation remains poorly understood. The correlation between soluble sugar content and sweetness during papaya ripening was investigated in this study. Soluble sugars accumulated mainly when the papaya fruit was still attached to the plant. After harvest, however, there was still sucrose synthesis, and the sucrose-phosphate synthase activity was highly correlated to the sucrose content, indicating the importance of this enzyme in the process. Sensory analysis showed that there was a dissociation between sugar content and sweet sensory perception, while the pulp softening showed high correlation with the sweetness process, probably due to the easier release of cellular contents in the fully ripened tissue.

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