ABSTRACT: The release of volatiles from tomatillos (Physalis ixocarpa Brot.) and tomatoes in the mouthspace and nosespace was measured in real-time using selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS). (Z)-3-Hexenal, (E)-2-hexenal, hexanal, and 1-penten-3-one increased, while isobutyl alcohol, nonanal, and methylbutanal showed no significant change in the first 30 s of chewing. Cherry tomato released more (E)-2-hexenal, (Z)-3-hexenal, and 1-penten-3-one than tomatillo, Roma tomato, and vine-ripened tomato during chewing. The proportion of the average concentration of volatiles in the mouthspace after swallowing to before swallowing (MSas/MSbs) varied from 2.8% to 73.9% between different volatiles and varieties. Methylbutanal, hexanal, and nonanal were retained at a higher percentage in the mouth after swallowing than (Z)-3-hexenal, (E)-2-hexenal, 1-penten-3-one, and isobutyl alcohol. The proportion of the average volatile concentration in the mouthspace, to the headspace in a glass container (MS/HS) of 1-penten-3-one, hexanal, methylbutanal, and nonanal, and the proportion of nosespace to headspace (NS/HS) for 1-penten-3-one, hexanal, (Z)-3-hexenal, and nonanal was significantly higher in tomatillo than in tomatoes. There was no difference between tomatoes of different varieties in NS/HS ratio.
Practical Application: The real-time volatile release from tomatillos and tomatoes was measured and compared. The information obtained on the dynamic generation of volatile compounds provides a better understanding of volatile release in the headspace of tomatillo and tomatoes. The compounds and their volatile release patterns were similar for the tomatillo and tomatoes. The green aldehydes released during chewing were not significantly higher than most tomato varieties, except for Roma tomatoes. Cherry tomato released relatively more volatiles during chewing, whereas Roma tomatoes were generally poor in mouthspace volatiles. The lingering of volatiles in the mouth after swallowing was different for different volatiles and varieties, which may appear as a sensory difference detected by consumers.