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Distribution of flavour components in onion (Allium cepa L.), leek (Allium porrum) and garlic (Allium sativum)

Distribution of flavour components in onion (Allium cepa L.), leek (Allium porrum) and garlic (Allium sativum)

Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 26(4): 471-481

Dry bulb onions and leeks, at the marketable stage of development, were dissected into 9 and 10 fractions, respectively, comprising the stem and leaves in succession from the oldest outer layers. Each fraction was separately analyzed for flavor components by determination of thiosulfinate and pyruvate. Similarly garlic cloves were divided into 5 fractions. There was a consistent pattern of flavor distribution in the 7 onion varieties studied. The dried outer scales were virtually free from flavor components, the concentrations of which (on a fresh weight basis) increased progressively from a minimum value in the outer leaf to the innermost tissue and the stem. The latter often contained more than twice the concentration present in the outer leaf. The pattern in the roots and edible portions of leek differed in detail from that in onion. Flavor intensity increased progressively from the outer leaf to the inner tissues, and the concentrations in both the roots and the stem were approximately equivalent to that of the 4th leaf numbered from the outer leaf. The pattern of flavor distribution in garlic cloves was simpler than that of onion and leek. The storage leaf accounted for the bulk of the weight of the clove as well as its flavor content. Some aspects of knowledge of the metabolism of inorganic N and S compounds in roots and other tissues and transport of the corresponding metabolites were briefly reviewed as the basis of a preliminary interpretation of the above observations. Attention was drawn to the bearing of the results on preparation of onion for cooking and processing and on sampling for analysis.

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Accession: 000063195

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DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.2740260413

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