During ripening, fruits acquire characteristics that make them suitable for consumption as a result of metabolic changes dependent on both genetic expression and the environmental conditions to which they are submitted, before and after harvest. The maturation of the banana is an irreversible process, characterized by a climacteric respiratory pattern, stimulated by the autocatalytic ethylene production and by physiological and metabolic disorders sensitive to temperature and ethylene itself. All these factors are responsible for the development of specific sensory properties of this fruit. Temperature control is of great importance for their marketing to be effective, especially in more distant markets, as it regulates the rates of the fruit ripening processes, optimizing the time for marketing. Banana is highly susceptible to damages caused by cold. The effect of cold storage on the attributes that characterize the quality of the ripe banana was evaluated in the doctoral thesis of this candidate. Storage at low temperatures changed the volatile profile responsible for aroma compared to the control (19 °C) group's profile in two varieties: Prata and Nanicão. The results suggest that the metabolism responsible for the production of volatile compounds is related to the individual capacity of the cultivar tolerate low temperatures. Thus, it is necessary to study the metabolic profile that could explain susceptibility to low temperatures, and, if these changes occur in banana in the sensory level. There are no investigations about the sensory profile of bananas stored at low temperature, and whether there are differences in the final consumer acceptance. Thus to integrate this study, we will start in our laboratory a new line of research called Sensomics.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: