Differentiation of Maturity and Quality of Fruit Using Noninvasive Extractive Electrospray Ionization Quadrupole Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry
H. Chen, Y. Sun, A. Wortmann, H. Gu, R. Zenobi
Maturity is an essential factor that determines storage life and final quality of most fruits and vegetables. Maturity monitoring is thus of paramount importance for postharvest handling and fruit quality regulation. Ideal analytical procedures for maturity investigation require high sensitivity, specificity, and high throughput and should be noninvasive.
For the purpose of maturity differentiation, extractive electrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (EESI-QTOF-MS) is developed for rapid fingerprinting of compounds released from various fruits. Ripening stages of bananas, grapes, and strawberries are successfully differentiated by performing principal component analysis (PCA) of the mass spectral fingerprints of the fruits. Methodological reproducibility was also evaluated experimentally and in terms of PCA clusters. The data indicate that EESI-QTOF-MS is a useful noninvasive tool for rapid investigation and differentiation of maturity and quality of fruits without sample preparation.