Morpho-chemical and aroma investigations on autochthonous and highly-prized sweet cherry varieties grown in Tuscany

C. Taiti, S. Caparrotta, S. Mancuso, E. Masi


The morpho-chemical and aromatic characteristics of four sweet cherry cultivated varieties (Prunus avium L.) grown in the area of Lari (Pisa, Central Italy) were evaluated with the aim to investigate their properties, mainly concerning volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Of these, three cultivars (‘Di Giardino’, ‘Di Nello’, and ‘Marchiana’) represent ancient sweet cherries recovered through a private cultivation program (belonging to the group of the so-called ‘Ciliegia di Lari’); their evaluation was compared with the commercial cultivar Ferrovia, highly-prized variety marketed in Italy and abroad. Morpho-chemical analyses highlighted statistical differences among the cultivars under study, mainly on total soluble solids (TSS) and tritatable acidity (TA). Aroma investigation was performed with PTR-ToF-MS (proton transfer reaction - time of flight - mass spectrometer) approach, employed here for the first time in cherry fruits. About 50 VOCs were detected; among them, those belonging to the chemical classes of aldehydes and alcohols were the most represented although with different intensities between samples. Tentative identification of some key VOCs for cherry fruit was also performed and preliminary conclusions on the characterization of ancient and wide spread Italian cultivars were given.

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