Changes in the volatile profile of ‘Fantasia’ nectarines [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch, var. nectarina] treated with an enhanced freshness formulation (EFF) containing hexanal

Shanthanu Krishna Kumar, Tom Hern, David Liscombe, Gopinadhan Paliyath, J. Alan Sullivan, Jayasankar Subramanian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Postharvest technologies play a key role in enhancing shelf life and maintaining quality characteristics of tender fruits, such as nectarines (Prunus persica [L.] Batsch var. nectarina). This research investigated the effects of an enhanced freshness formulation (EFF), containing hexanal as the key ingredient, in enhancing the shelf life of field grown nectarines and its effects on the composition of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). ‘Fantasia’ nectarine fruits at two commercial orchards in the Niagara region were subject to preharvest sprays of 2% EFF (15 and 7 days preharvest) and stored at ambient conditions (25 °C) with volatile analyses conducted at 0, 3, 5, 7, and 11 days postharvest. The volatile analysis study indicated for the first time that hexanal is naturally present in nectarine fruit. This was confirmed by GC–MS analysis and validated with standards. GC–EIMS analyses of targeted VOCs validated with standards indicated reduced levels of VOCs associated with fruit ripening and fruity odor, such as lactones, in hexanal-treated fruit, and an increased level of C6 compounds associated with unripe fruit. Principal component analysis biplot with scores and loadings of the fruit VOCs and quality parameters indicated a tight association between TSS and lactones, which was inversely associated with firmness, ground color, acetates, and ester compounds. Pearson correlation coefficients also indicated a very high positive correlation between hexanal and levels of VOCs, such as 1-hexanol, E-2-hexanal, 3-hexanal, hexen-1-ol, and other C6 acetates. These findings may indicate a delay in the ripening process caused by hexanal formulation, which may be associated with modulated expression of key ripening-related volatile pathways, therefore enhancing the shelf life and quality of nectarines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-536
Number of pages12
JournalHorticulture Environment and Biotechnology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture

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