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Merete Edelenbos

Emission of volatile organic compounds from yellow onion (Allium cepa L.) bulbs during storage

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Fresh onions (Allium cepa L.) emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) naturally in very low concentrations. The aim of the present study was to determine the emission rate of low-boiling VOCs from healthy and naturally infected onion bulbs at 4, 15, and 25 °C and to evaluate the applicability of the VOC method to monitor quality changes during 12 weeks of storage of two cultivars (‘Hystand’ and ‘Hoza’) of yellow onions. VOCs were extracted from the headspace of bulbs by solid phase micro-extraction (SPME) up to 5 times during storage and analyzed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS). A total of twenty-nine compounds were measured and twenty-seven of these were identified while thirteen were reported for the first time from yellow onion bulbs. Acetone (0.10–18.0 nmol kg−1 day−1), dimethyl disulfide (0.12–18.9 nmol kg−1 day−1) and hexanal (0.05–4.40 nmol kg−1 day−1) were among the most abundant volatiles emitted from healthy bulbs. The concentration of these compounds as well as the total volatiles decreased with time in storage. However, microbial infection resulted in higher emission of propene, carbon disulfide, isoprene, pentane, 2-methylfuran, 3-methylfuran, 1-propenethiol, hexane, and methyl propyl sulfide, indicating that VOC emission may be used as an indicator to monitor natural senescence and decay of stored onion bulbs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Food Science and Technology
Pages (from-to)2940-2948
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • DORMANCY, Disease, FUSARIUM-OXYSPORUM, Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, HEADSPACE, Headspace analysis, Quality, RESPIRATION RATE, SULFUR-COMPOUNDS, Senescence, Solid-phase microextraction, TEMPERATURE, TIME, VARIETY

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