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Sensory quality of turnip greens and turnip tops grown in northwestern Spain - page 14 / 31





14 / 31

Brassica rapa varieties from northwestern Spain showed differences in their

sensory profiles. This variability could be used to select the best variety for sensorial

characteristics according to vegetable market and consumer preferences. Secondary

metabolites as glucosinolates and phenolic compounds, which play a crucial role in fruit

and vegetable quality, were responsible of texture and flavor, depending on the organ

evaluated. So, glucosinolates in turnip tops and hydroxycinnamic acids and flavonoids

in turnip greens resulted to be related to some sensory traits responsible for taste and

firmness. Regard to phenolic compounds, correlations with structural and flavor traits

were found, thus indicate the relationship of these compounds and the cell wall integrity

as well as provide characteristics taste. Hydroxycinnamic acids play a very important

role in the life of the cell wall. They are principal components governing cell wall

integrity, shape and defence against pathogenic access [28]. Glucosinolates, especially

progoitrin (in turnip greens) and gluconapin (in turnip tops), showed a high correlation

with flavor traits as bitter taste and aftertaste persistence. Hence, these compounds may

be the main responsible for the bitter and pungent impression in these vegetables, which

are frequently disliked and are one of the reasons for low consumer acceptability of

some Brassica crops [10, 15, 25]. Some sensory traits evaluated in this study, mainly

those related to texture as leaf and stalk firmness and resistance to cutting and those

related to taste as bitter, salty and aftertaste could be used as important parameters for

measuring the sensorial value of turnip tops and turnip greens. This first study has

allowed us not only to define the sensory attributes of these crops but also to select

those traits that they would be good candidates for a rapid screening of material. This

invaluable information would help us to improve the quality and potential health value

of turnip greens and turnip tops.

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