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  Eur.J.Hortic.Sci. 81 (5) 255-263 | DOI: 10.17660/eJHS.2016/81.5.4
ISSN 1611-4426 print and 1611-4434 online | © ISHS 2016 | European Journal of Horticultural Science | Original article

Antioxidant properties, sensory characteristics and volatile compounds profile of apple juices from ancient Tuscany (Italy) apple varieties

E. Maragň1, M. Michelozzi2, L. Calamai3, F. Camangi1 and L. Sebastiani1
1BioLabs, Institute of Life Science, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, 56127 Pisa (PI), Italy
2CNR – Istituto di Bioscienze e Biorisorse, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy
3Dipartimento di Scienze delle Produzioni Agroalimentari e dell'Ambiente, Universitŕ degli Studi di Firenze, 50144 Firenze (FI), Italy

Ancient apple varieties can be an important source of fruit products rich in polyphenols with a good taste and aroma. In this study juices were produced from three varieties of apples ('Panaia-red', 'Cipolla', and 'Nesta') grown in Tuscany (Italy). The phenolic contents, the sensory characteristics and the volatile compounds profile (VOCs) were analysed. The phenolic content was measured by spectrophotometer assays, and antioxidant activity was assessed using the in vitro test for the DPPH˙ radical. The VOCs profile was evaluated by DHS-GC-MS analysis and the sensory characteristics by a qualified sensory panel test. It was found that 'Panaia-red' juice had the highest level of phenolic compounds, except for flavonols, which were higher in the 'Cipolla' juice. 'Nesta' and 'Panaia-red' apple juices had the highest antioxidant activity. A total of forty-four volatile compounds were detected in the apple juices and a good score for taste and aroma was given to the juices by expert assessors. In comparison with commercial apple juices, the apple juices studied had approximately a double content of polyphenols, and, furthermore, they had a good aromatic profile and pleasantness with respect to the minimum threshold required by the sensory analysis (minimum score=5).

Keywords food analysis, mass spectrometry, Malus × domestica Borkh., polyphenols, sensory analysis

Significance of this study

What is already known on this subject?

  • Underutilized (for fresh consumption) apple varieties can be an important source of polyphenols.
What are the new findings?
  • Production of juices with high polyphenols and antioxidant properties deserving these juices have a good aromatic profile and pleasantness.
What is the expected impact on horticulture?
  • New products and valorization of underutilized apple varieties.

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Received: 21 June 2016 | Accepted: 23 September 2016 | Published: 30 October 2016 | Available online: 26 October 2016

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