Biochemical basis of color as an aesthetic quality in citrus sinensis

Renate Oberholster, A. Keith Cowan, Péter Molnár, Gy Tóth

Research output: Article

36 Citations (Scopus)


The biochemical basis of color as an aesthetic quality in mature fruit of navel and Valencia orange (Citrus sinensis) was determined. Saponification of the two major color-imparting components resolved by thin-layer chromatography, followed by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography, revealed that these comprised acyl esters of (9Z)-violaxanthin and β-citraurin. Identification of the chromophores was based on cochromatography and online spectral analysis. The color quality of flavedo of mature fruit was dependent on the content and relative amounts of (9Z)-violaxanthin and β-citraurin. Quantitative results revealed that increased color intensity was associated with a decline in the (9Z)-violaxanthin:β-citraurin ratio from greater than 50 to below 10, an increase in flavedo (9Z)-violaxanthin and β-citraurin content, and that measurement of the mass and ratio of these carotenoids can be used to accurately color-grade orange fruit for local and export markets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-307
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - febr. 8 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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