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Russo M.,University of Reggio Calabria | Russo M.,Mediterranean Foundation of Research Terina | Serra D.,Mediterranean Foundation of Research Terina | Suraci F.,Mediterranean Foundation of Research Terina | Postorino S.,Mediterranean Foundation of Research Terina
Journal of Essential Oil Research | Year: 2012

The quality of an essential oil is determined by its composition as well as by the complex aroma features. The aim of this work was to analyze the effectiveness of electronic nose (e-nose) systems to detect quality and genuineness of bergamot essential oils (BEOs). Tested methods included volatile analysis with the e-nose based on metal-oxide semiconductor sensors and analysis of chemical composition of essential oil by chromatography (GC/FID, GC/MS). The paper reports preliminary results on the potential of an e-nose to discriminate natural cold-pressed bergamot oil (BEO C-P) from those deterpenated and bergapten-free; between samples obtained from different cultivars; from samples obtained from fruit grown in the Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO) area and those outside the PDO; and finally from synthetic essential oils (SEO). This feasibility study has confirmed that an e-nose demonstrates the ability to supply a concrete support to BEO quality control. The e-noses, with subsequent DFA treatment of data, offer the advantages of rapidity and reliability. Further validation studies are currently under way with the aim of enriching and updating the databases of reference for BEOs. In order to broaden the range of e-nose use, tests on sensors chiral comportment are in progress, in order to bring this same approach in the study of adulteration of BEOs. © 2012 Taylor &Francis.

Russo Mt.,University of Reggio Calabria | Cefaly V.,University of Reggio Calabria | Di Sanzo R.,University of Reggio Calabria | Carabetta S.,University of Reggio Calabria | And 2 more authors.
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2012

Many epidemiological studies have shown that the consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with a reduced risk for the development of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Phytochemicals, including polyphenols and flavonoids, are suggested to be the major bioactive compounds of fruits and vegetables contributing to the health benefits. Onion bulbs (Allium cepa L.) are among the richest sources of dietary flavonoids and contribute to a large extent to the overall daily intake of flavonoids. A particular sweet red onion, 'Tropea Red Onion', characterized by a large red envelope and internal white tunics, grown in Calabria region (south of Italy), for the excellent organoleptic characteristics (tenderness, crispness, sweetness), is considered the pride of Calabrian's horticultural products. Because of the few available scientific studies on this particular red onion, a large-scale study to characterize different 'Tropea red onion' ecotypes was started. Onions contain bioactive components belonging to two main chemical groups: the flavonoids and the alk(en)yl cysteine sulphoxides (ACSOs). Flavonoid and in particular the anthocyanins and flavanols such as quercetin were found in onion while the ACSOs are the flavour precursors, which, when cleaved by the enzyme alliinase, generate the characteristic odour and taste of onion (thiosulphinates, thiosulphonates, mono-, di- and tri-sulphides). Because of the few available scientific studies on this particular red onion, a large-scale study was started to characterize different 'Tropea red onion' ecotypes and to identify markers of authentication to protect it on the national and international market. Moreover, 'Tropea red onion' ecotypes are evaluated for their characteristic tastes, aroma profile and for their flavonoids composition in comparison with other red onions. The alk(en)yl-L-cysteine sulphoxides ACSOs are the main precursors of onion flavour due to the presence of thiosulphinates, thiosulphonates, mono-, di- and tri-sulphides that arise in the ground tissues after reaction with the enzyme alliinase. The components of aroma profile are correlated with the pattern of aroma precursors (cysteine sulfoxides). Altogether at least 25 different flavonols have been characterized; quercetin derivatives are the most important flavonoids in Calabrian onion ecotypes. Analogous derivatives of kaempferol and isorhamnetin have been identified as minor pigments. HPLC, GC/MS, SPME/GC/MS, and e-nose had been used to classify different 'Tropea red onion' ecotypes.

Russo Mt.,University of Reggio Calabria | Di Sanzo R.,University of Reggio Calabria | Cefaly V.,University of Reggio Calabria | Fuda S.,University of Reggio Calabria | And 2 more authors.
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2012

Nutritional and bioactive molecules are some of essential parameters for evaluation of fruit quality. Figs (Ficus carica L.) are a widespread species commonly grown, especially in warm, dry climates and it is an important crop worldwide for dry and fresh consumption. As a seasonal food, figs represent an important constituent of the Mediterranean diet. Calabria region (South of Italy) and particularly PDO district that falls within the Cosenza province, is an important area of figs cultivation and above all for the traditional skill in dried figs production. These figs are traded as dried fruits, paste and added with other ingredients. In this study the variability of chemical attributes (sugars, organic acids, total phenolic, fibre and vitamins) was determined in 25 production lots of dried figs from PDO district, dried figs from outside the PDO area and foreign. Chromatographic, spectrophotometric and gravimetric analysis has been used to determine dried figs composition. The results showed a very high quality of Calabrian dried figs. They also show that dried figs are a good source of soluble fiber (25% DRI) and carbohydrate (38% DRI) and also are an important source of vitamins. The organic acids and phenolics contents detected in dried figs showed a high content of these nutritionally important compounds.

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