Chemometric analysis of the volatile profile in peduncles of cashew clones and its correlation with sensory attributes.J Food Sci. 2021 Dec; 86(12):5120-5136.JF
Cashew apple, the hypertrophied peduncle of cashew nut, is a functional food with a high antioxidant activity and with good characteristics for juice industrialization and fresh consumption such as fleshy pulp, soft peel, without seeds, and exotic flavor. However, it is still poorly used or totally wasted. For this reason, the quality of cashew apples has received more attention from the Brazilian breeding program to maximize their uses. In this study, the volatile compound profiles of peduncles of seven cashew clones and their relation to the aroma and flavor differences were investigated. Nine trained panelists evaluated the cashew apples by descriptive analysis. After the standardization of headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) extraction and chromatographic conditions, the volatile organic compounds were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). A total of 48 compounds were identified with esters being the major chemical class, both in number of compounds and chromatographic peak area. The targeted and untargeted principal component analysis (PCA) analyses showed complementary and corroborative results from the cashew apple volatile composition based on genotype. The partial least squares (PLS) modeling revealed the high correlation of the unpleasant sensory attributes with the PRO805 and CAPI17 clones; sweet taste and sweet odor with the CCP76 clone; and cashew aroma/cashew flavor with the EMBRAPA51, HAC276, PRO555, and SLC12.20 clones. The correlation between the most relevant volatile organic compounds (VOC) for cashew apples and the sensory descriptors showed that the compounds methyl butanoate, methyl 3-methylbutanoate, ethyl 2-methylbutanoate, methyl 2-butenoate, methyl 3-methylpentanoate, 3-carene, methyl (E)-2-methyl-2-butenoate, ethyl 4-methylpentanoate, 2-hexenal, butyl 3-methylbutanoate, butyl pentanoate, and 3-methyl butanoic acid were important to explain differences in the characteristic fruit aroma and flavor of cashew apples among the studied clones. PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Cashew crops have been developed by using improved clones with increased nut productivity and resistance to diseases. The Brazilian genetic improvement program is also seeking to improve the quality of peduncles to maximize their use and prevent their destination as agricultural waste. In this study, the volatile profile of peduncles of seven cashew clones was determined and its correlation with the differences in their aroma and flavor attributes established. The results will provide important information about the potential of the new materials for fresh consumption and for the manufacturing of cashew juices, in addition to be used by breeders interested in improving the aroma of the fruit.