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Rapid Determination of Different Ripening Stages of Occidental Pears ( Pyrus communis L.) by Volatile Organic Compounds Using Proton-Transfer-Reaction Mass Spectrometry (PTR-MS).

Foods (Basel, Switzerland) 2024 Februrary 20
Determination of Occidental pear ( Pyrus communis ) ripening is difficult because the appearance of Occidental pears does not change significantly during the ripening process. Occidental pears at different ripening stages release different volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can be used to determine fruit ripeness non-destructively and rapidly. In this study, VOCs were detected using proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS). Notably, data were acquired within 1 min. Occidental pears harvested at five separate times were divided into three ripening stages: unripe, ripe, and overripe. The results showed that the composition of VOCs differed depending on the ripening stage. In particular, the concentrations of esters and terpenes significantly increased during the overripe stage. Three ripening stages were clearly discriminated by heatmap clustering and principal component analysis (PCA). This study provided a rapid and non-destructive method to evaluate the ripening stages of Occidental pears. The result can help fruit farmers to decide the optimum harvest time and hence reduce their economic losses.

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