, Volume 181, Issue 2, pp 179–195 | Cite as

Identifying volatile compounds associated with sensory and fruit attributes in diploid Actinidia chinensis (kiwifruit) using multivariate analysis

  • Canhong H. Cheng
  • Alan G. Seal
  • Elspeth A. MacRae
  • Mindy Y. Wang


While the roles of sugars and acids in fruit flavour are well known and described, the roles of volatile compounds that contribute to flavour and odour are more difficult to define. The determination of volatiles that make a significant contribution to the flavour of kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis) is essential for efficient and cost effective flavour breeding. The aims of this study were to explore associations between volatile compounds, sensory and fruit attributes of A. chinensis fruit and to identify potential key flavour impact volatiles, superior parents and selection methods, using multivariate analysis. We investigated the volatiles produced by ripe fruit of 24 genotypes selected by principal component analysis (PCA) to represent the diversity of taste and fruit characteristics in a breeding population. Seventy-two volatiles were detected. Extended use of multivariate analysis proved powerful for gaining maximum information from the limited plant material. The volatiles were successfully grouped into four clusters, using hierarchical clustering of variables based on phenotypic correlations between volatiles to avoid a singular correlation matrix in PCA. Based on these clusters, associations between volatiles, sensory and fruit attributes were explored using PCA and multiple linear regressions. Principal components provided a measure of the balance of complex volatiles that is likely to affect consumer responses. Thirteen potential key impact volatiles that made a substantial contribution to the flavour of A. chinensis fruit were identified. Five esters were strongly associated with the flavours and odours characteristic of ‘Hort16A’. Volatiles associated with ‘sour taste’, ‘fruit ripeness’, ‘atypical ‘Hort16A’-like odour’ and ‘atypical kiwifruit flavour’ were also recognized. Parents with potentially desirable volatile profiles and a possible selection method for flavour breeding were identified.


Kiwifruit Breeding Flavour Volatiles Multivariate analysis 



We thank Helen Boldingh and Ken Marsh for assistance with sugar and acid analyses, and the Sensory Evaluation Team of the New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited, New Zealand, for fruit sensory assessment. We also thank Ross Atkinson, Peter Minchin and Peter Alspach for reviewing our manuscript. This research was funded by the New Zealand Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (C06X0006).


  1. Aharoni A, Giri AP, Verstappen FWA, Bertea CM, Sevenier R, Sun Z, Jongsma MA, Schwab W, Bouwmeester HJ (2004) Gain and loss of fruit flavor compounds produced by wild and cultivated strawberry species. Plant Cell 16:3110–3131PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderberg MR (1973) Cluster analysis for applications. Academic Press, Inc., New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Atanasova B, Thomas-Danguin T, Langlois D, Nicklaus S, Chabanet C, Etiévant P (2005) Perception of wine fruity and woody notes: influence of peri-threshold odorants. Food Qual Pref 16:504–510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baldwin EA, Scott JW, Einstein MA, Malundo TMM, Carr BT, Shewfelt RL, Tandon KS (1998) Relationship between sensory and instrumental analysis for tomato flavor. J Amer Soc Hort Sci 123:906–915Google Scholar
  5. Bartley JP, Schwede AM (1989) Production of volatile compounds in ripening kiwi fruit (Actinidia chinensis). J Agric Food Chem 37:1023–1025CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Burdon J, Lallu N, Billing D, Burmeister D, Yearsley C, Wang M, Gunson A, Young H (2005) Carbon dioxide scrubbing systems alter the ripe fruit volatile profiles in controlled-atmosphere stored ‘Hayward’ kiwifruit. Postharvest Biol Technol 35:133–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Buttery GR (1993) Quantitative and sensory aspects of flavor of tomato and other vegetables and fruits. In: Acree TE, Teranishi R (eds) Flavor science: sensible principles and techniques. American Chemical Society, Washington, pp 259–286Google Scholar
  8. Buttery RG, Teranishi R, Ling LC, Turnbaugh JG (1990) Quantitative and sensory studies on tomato paste volatiles. J Agric Food Chem 38:336–340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cheng CH, Seal AG, Boldingh HL, Marsh KB, MacRae EA, Murphy SJ, Ferguson AR (2004) Inheritance of taste characters and fruit size and number in a diploid Actinidia chinensis (Kiwifruit) population. Euphytica 138:185–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Crowhurst RN, Gleave AP, MacRae EA et al (2008) Analysis of expressed sequence tags from Actinidia: applications of a cross species EST database for gene discovery in the areas of flavor, health, color and ripening. BMC Genomics 9:351PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Daszykowski M, Kaczmarek K, Vander Heyden Y, Walczak B (2007) Robust statistics in data analysis—a review basic concepts. Chemometr Intell Lab 85:203–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dirinck PJ, De Pooter HL, Willaert GA, Schamp NM (1981) Flavor quality of cultivated strawberries: the role of the sulfur compounds. J Agric Food Chem 29:316–321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dixon J, Hewett EW (2000) Factors affecting apple aroma/flavor volatile concentration: a review. NZ J Crop Hortic Sci 28:155–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Falconer DS, Mackay TFC (1996) Introduction to quantitative genetics, 4th edn. Longman, EssexGoogle Scholar
  15. Fazzalari FA (1978) Compilation of odor and taste threshold data, ASTM committee E-18 on sensory evaluation of materials and products. American Society for Testing and Materials, The Society (Philadelphia)Google Scholar
  16. Frank D, O’Riordan P, Varelis P, Zabaras D, Watkins P, Ceccato C, Wijesundera C (2007) Deconstruction and recreation of ‘Hayward’ volatile flavour using a trained sensory panel, olfactometry and a kiwifruit model matrix. Acta Hortic 753:107–118Google Scholar
  17. Friel EN, Wang M, Taylor AJ, MacRae EA (2007) In vitro and in vivo release of aroma compounds from yellow-fleshed kiwifruit. J Agric Food Chem 55:6664–6673PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gilbert JM, Young H, Ball RD, Murray SH (1996) Volatile flavor compounds affecting consumer acceptability of kiwifruit. J Sens Stud 11:247–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. González-Agüero M, Troncoso S, Gudenschwager O, Campos-Vargas R, Moya-León MA, Defilippi BG (2009) Differential expression levels of aroma-related genes during ripening of apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.). Plant Physiol Biochem 47:435–440PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Guillot S, Peytavi L, Bureau S, Boulanger R, Lepoutre J, Crouzet J, Schorr-Galindo S (2006) Aroma characterization of various apricot varieties using headspace-solid phase microextraction combined with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and gas chromatography-olfactometry. Food Chem 96:147–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Harker FR, Carr BT, Lenjo M, MacRae EA, Wismer WV, Marsh KB, Williams M, White A, Lund CM, Walker SB, Gunson FA, Pereira RB (2009) Consumer liking for kiwifruit flavour: a meta-analysis of five studies on fruit quality. Food Qual Pref 20:30–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jaeger SR, Rossiter KL, Wismer WV, Harker FR (2003) Consumer-driven product development in the kiwifruit industry. Food Qual Pref 14:187–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jordán MJ, Margraía CA, Shaw PE, Goodner KL (2002) Aroma active components in aqueous kiwi fruit essence and kiwi fruit puree by GC-MS and multidimensional GC/GC-O. J Agric Food Chem 50:5386–5390PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ke D, Zhou L, Kader AA (1994) Mode of oxygen and carbon dioxide action on strawberry ester biosynthesis. J Amer Soc Hort Sci 119:971–975Google Scholar
  25. Klesk K, Qian M (2003) Aroma extract dilution analysis of cv. Marion (Rubus spp. Hyb) and cv. Evergreen (R. laciniatus L.) blackberries. J Agric Food Chem 51:3436–3441PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Krumbein A, Peters P, Brüchner B (2004) Flavour compounds and quantitative descriptive analysis of tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) of different cultivars in short-term storage. Postharvest Biol Technol 32:15–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Labbe D, Rytz A, Morgenegg C, Ali S, Martin N (2007) Subthreshold olfactory stimulation can enhance sweetness. Chem Senses 32:205–214PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Li D, Xu Y, Xu G, Gu L, Li D, Shu H (2006) Molecular cloning and expression of a gene encoding alcohol acyltransferase (MdAAT2) from apple (cv. Golden Delicious). Phytochemistry 67:658–667PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. López ML, Lavilla MT, Riba M, Vendrell M (1998) Comparison of volatile compounds in two seasons in apples: golden delicious and Granny Smith. J Food Qual 21:155–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Marsh KB, Rossiter K, Lau K, Walker S, Gunson A, MacRae E (2003) Using fruit pulps to explore flavour in kiwifruit. Acta Hortic 610:229–238Google Scholar
  31. Marsh KB, Friel EN, Gunson A, Lund C, MacRae E (2006) Perception of flavour in standardised fruit pulps with additions of acid or sugars. Food Qual Pref 17:376–386CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Matich AJ, Young H, Allen JM, Wang MY, Fielder S, McNeilage MA, MacRae EA (2003) Actinidia arguta: volatile compounds in fruit and flowers. Phytochemistry 63:285–301PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. McMath KL, Paterson VJ, Young H (1991) Factors affecting the sensory perception of sweetness and acidity in kiwifruit. Acta Hortic 297:489–500Google Scholar
  34. Mistry SB, Reineccius T, Olson KL (1997) Gas chromatography-olfactometry for the determination of key odorants in foods. In: Marsili R (ed) Techniques for analyzing food aroma. Marcel Dekker, New York, pp 265–292Google Scholar
  35. Miyazawa T, Gallagher M, Preti G, Wise PM (2008) The impact of subthreshold carboxylic acids on the odor intensity of suprathreshold flavor compounds. Chem Precept 1:163–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Morrison DF (1990) Multivariate statistical methods, 3rd edn. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  37. Paterson VJ, MacRae EA, Young H (1991) Relationships between sensory properties and chemical composition of kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa). J Sci Food Agric 57:235–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Pennarun AL, Prost C, Haure J, Demaimay M (2003) Comparison of two microalgal diets. 2. Influence on odorant composition and organoleptic qualities of row oysters (Crassostrea gigas). J Agric Food Chem 51:2011–2018PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Perera CO, Young H, Beever DJ (1998) Kiwifruit. In: Shaw PE, Chan HT Jr, Nagy S (eds) Tropical and subtropical fruits. Agscience, Auburndale, pp 336–385Google Scholar
  40. Pérez AG, Olίas R, Snaz C, Olίas JM (1996) Furanones in strawberries: evolution during ripening and postharvest shelf life. J Agric Food Chem 44:3620–3624CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Rothe M, Thomas B (1963) Aroma of bread. Evaluation of chemical taste analysis with the aid of threshold value. Z Lebensm Unters Forsch 119:302–310 (in German)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Rouseff RL, Leahy MM (1995) Advances in fruit flavor research: an overview. In: Rouseff RL, Leahy MM (eds) Fruit flavors: biogenesis, characterization, and authentication. American Chemical Society, Washington, pp 1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Rychlik M, Schieberle P, Grosch W (1998) Compilation of odor thresholds, odor qualities and retention indices of key food odorants. Deutsche Forschungsanstalt fuer Lebensmittelchemie, GarchingGoogle Scholar
  44. SAS Institute Inc (2003) SAS/STAT user’s guide. Version 9.1. Cary, USAGoogle Scholar
  45. Schaffer RJ, Friel EN, Souleyre EJE, Bolitho K, Thodey K, Ledger S, Bowen JH, Ma JH, Nain B, Cohen D, Gleave AP, Crowhurst RN, Janssen BJ, Yao JL, Newcomb RD (2007) A genomics approach reveals that aroma production in apple is controlled by ethulene predominantly at the final step in each biosynthetic pathway. Plant Physiol 144:1899–1912PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Souleyre EJ, Greenwood DR, Friel EN, Karunairetnam S, Newcomb RD (2005) An alcohol acyl transferase from apple (cv. Royal Gala), MpAAT1, produces esters involved in apple fruit flavor. FEBS J 272:3132–3144PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Speirs J, Lee E, Holt K, Kim Y, Scott NS, Loveys B, Schuch W, Kim YD (1998) Genetic manipulation of alcohol dehydrogenase levels in ripening tomato fruit affects the balance of some flavor aldehydes and alcohols. Plant Physiol 117:1047–1058PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Stec MGH, Hodgson JA, MacRae EA, Triggs CM (1989) Role of fruit firmness in the sensory evaluation of kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa cv Hayward). J Agric Food Chem 47:417–433CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Surburg H, Panten J (2006) Common fragrance and flavor materials, 5th edn. WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, WeinheimCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Takeoka GR, Güntert M, Flath RA, Wurz RE, Jennings W (1986) Volatile constituents of kiwi fruit (Actinidia chinensis Planch.). J Agric Food Chem 34:576–578CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Takeoka GR, Flath RA, Mon TR, Teranishi R, Guentert M (1990) Volatile constituents of apricots (Prunus armeniaca). J Agric Food Chem 38:471–477CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Tandon KS, Baldwin EA, Scott JW, Shewfelt RL (2003) Linking sensory descriptors to volatile and non-volatile components of fresh tomato flavor. J Food Sci 68:2366–2371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Tokitomo Y, Steinhaus M, Bütner A, Schieberle P (2005) Odor-active constituents in fresh pineapple (Ananas comosus [L.] Merr.) by quantitative and sensory. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 69:1323–1330PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Turin L (1996) A spectroscopic mechanism for primary olfactory reception. Chem Senses 21:773–791PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Wang MY, MacRae E, Wohlers M, Marsh K (2010) Changes in volatile production and sensory quality of kiwifruit during fruit maturation in Actinidia deliciosa ‘Hayward’ and A. chinensis ‘Hort16A’. Postharvest Biol Technol 59:16–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wismer WV, Harker FR, Gunson FA, Rossiter KL, Lau K, Seal AG, Lowe RG, Beatson R (2005) Identifying flavour targets for fruit breeding: a kiwifruit example. Euphytica 141:93–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Young H, Paterson VJ (1985) The effects of harvest maturity, ripeness and storage on kiwifruit aroma. J Sci Food Agric 36:352–358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Young H, Paterson VJ (1995) Characterisation of bound flavor components in kiwifruit. J Sci Food Agric 68:257–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Young H, Paterson VJ, Burns DJW (1983) Volatile aroma constituents of kiwifruit. J Sci Food Agric 34:81–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Young H, Stec M, Paterson VJ, McMath K, Ball R (1995) Volatile compounds affecting kiwifruit flavor. In: Rouseff RL, Leahy MM (eds) Fruit flavors: biogenesis, characterization, and authentication. American Chemical Society, Washington, pp 59–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Young JC, Chu CLG, Lu X, Zhu H (2004) Ester variability in apple varieties as determined by solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. J Sci Food Agric 52:8086–8093CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Zhang B, Yin X-R, Li X, Yang S-L, Ferguson IB, Chen K-S (2009) Lipoxygenase gene expression in ripening kiwifruit in relation to ethylene and aroma production. J Agric Food Chem 57:2875–2881PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Canhong H. Cheng
    • 1
  • Alan G. Seal
    • 1
  • Elspeth A. MacRae
    • 2
  • Mindy Y. Wang
    • 3
  1. 1.Te Puke Research CentreThe New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research LimitedTe PukeNew Zealand
  2. 2.SCIONRotoruaNew Zealand
  3. 3.Mount Albert Research CentreThe New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research LimitedAucklandNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations