Chemical and sensory approaches for improving the flavour of Australian strawberries

De Silva, T 2019, Chemical and sensory approaches for improving the flavour of Australian strawberries, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Science, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Chemical and sensory approaches for improving the flavour of Australian strawberries
Author(s) De Silva, T
Year 2019
Abstract Strawberry varieties grown in Australia are mostly introduced, and are predominantly sourced from the USA. Consequently, these varieties are well suited to the USA climate. The Australian Strawberry Breeding Program focuses on locally bred varieties and the environmental and genotypic factors that influence berry quality and flavour profile. As such, enhancing the flavour of strawberries (Fragaria x annanasa) is one of the industry highest priorities. The breeding program supports this initiative and has resulted in increasing industry acceptance of Australian varieties. Most Australian-grown strawberries are produced in open fields and are heavily impacted by environmental factors. This research aims to understand the environmental effects on strawberry quality attributes [volatile compounds, total soluble solids (sugars) and titratable acidity and the consumer preference of the cultivars]. Australian-grown cultivars and advanced-breeding lines were analysed for their quality attributes and the influence of growing environment on these compounds. These quality attributes were then assessed to identify the compounds that were responsible for consumer preference. Levels of some esters, lactones and sugars were found to be responsible for the consumer preference of certain genotypes compared with others.

Sampling were carried out in two seasons (2013-2014 and 2014-2015) for 15 non-consecutive weeks. The sampled commercial cultivars were Albion, Melba, San Andreas, Palomar and Camino Real. Apart from these, few advanced-breeding lines were sampled. The advanced-breeding lines are Australian plant breeding materials selected by the breeders. These lines included; 10-004-168, 10-004-165, 10-057-27, 08-029-80, 06-050-202 and 07-048-190. The cultivars and Australian advanced-breeding lines contained esters, terpenoids, lactones, aldehydes, furans, alcohols and acids. These findings provided sufficient information that Australian advanced-breeding lines contain favourable compounds which are stable in the Australian growing condition.

The effect of environmental parameters was analysed. The variation of the volatile compounds, sugars and acids were explained using the genotype, environment and GxE interaction. This study intended to understand the genotypes that perform well in the Australian growing conditions. Furthermore, the current study revealed 39 important strawberry flavour compounds with high broad-sense heritability. Analysis of the most and least consumer preferred strawberries showed -dodecalactone, ethyl hexanoate, (E)-Hex-2-enyl butanoate, TSS, 1-methylethyl hexanoate, mesifurane, methyl octanoate, ethyl butanoate, S-methyl thiobutanoate were important for consumer desirability. This study demonstrated that a combination of chemical compounds and sugars create better strawberries.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Science
Subjects Plant Cell and Molecular Biology
Keyword(s) strawberry
molecular plant breeding
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Created: Wed, 09 Oct 2019, 11:17:54 EST by Keely Chapman
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