Volatile components of banana fruit (musa sapientum L.) “Indio” for Cuba

Volatile components of banana fruit (musa sapientum L.) “Indio” for Cuba

Pino, Jorge A


Volatile components of banana fruit “Indio” were isolated by simultaneous steam distillation/solvent extraction. Thirty-nine components were identified (42 mg/kg), of which the major ones were 2-heptyl acetate, isoamyl acetate. 2-methylbutyl acetate and 2-heptyl acetate.

Key Word Index

Musa sapientum, banana, fruit volatiles, 2-heptyl acetate, isoamylacetate, 2-methylbutyl acetate, 2-heptyl acetate.

Plant Name

Musa sapientum L. “Indio” (Musaceae), banana.


The fruit was collected from a tree growing in a home garden in Havana, Cuba.

Plant Part

Banana fruit, close to fruit drop and judged to be of optimum eating quality, were harvested and processed within three days.

Previous Work

One of the most common tropical fruits in the world is the banana. Analytical research on the aroma compounds of this fruit has been carried out in the last decades (1-5). These results have been summarized and published elsewhere (6,7). The banana “Indio” has a red skin, strong typical aroma and a sweet taste. Analytical research on its aroma compounds has not been preW ously reported until now.

Present Work

Fresh fruit mesocarp (250 cr) from ripe fruits was homogenized in a glass Waring blender with distilled water and ascorbic acid as antioxidant (600 mg/kg). The homogenate was continuously steam-distilled diethyl ether (25 mL) extracted in a Likens-Nickerson apparatus for 90 min (8). The extract was dried over anhydrous sodium sulphate, concentrated using a Kuderna-Danish concentrator and, finally, reduced to a volume of about 0.2 mL under a gentle stream of nitrogen.

GC/MS analysis was performed on a Fissions Trio 1000 instrument with an SPB-1 fused silica column (30 m x 0.32 mm, 1.0 gm film thickness). Initial oven temperature was 60 deg C for 3 min, then raised to 250 deg C at 40 deg C/rain and held for 10 min; injector temperature was 250 deg C, and carrier gas flow, 1 mL/min. Constituents were identified by comparison of their mass spectra with those in NBS and our IDENT database, and confirmed in many compounds by their relative retention indices.

Thirty-nine volatile constituents were identified and are listed in Table I. Percentage abundance, as determined from the TIC peak areas, are listed but should be seen as giving only a general indication of relative amounts, as extraction efficiencies were not included. Nevertheless, these data are useful for comparison with the results of previous studies. Quantitative data expressed as mg/kg or ppm in iii fruit are also given. The yield of total volatiles. estimated by the addition of a measured amount of internal standard to the extract, was 42 mg/kg of fruit. Aliphatic esters comprised the largest class of volatiles. The major components were 2-heptyl acetate (14.4%), isoamyl acetate (9.0%), 2-methylbutyl acetate (8.9%) and 2-heptyl hexanoate (9.5%). The esters of 2-heptanol would be important components for banana aroma, Acetates have been found almost exclusively in banana volatiles, but not as major components (4). 2-Heptyl hexanoate has been reported for the first time as a banana volatile. Apart from these esters, the other principal constituent was elemicin (6.5% ), which would also contribute to banana aroma.

As sensory evaluations were not carried out in then study, it is difficult to determine which components contribute more to the banana var. “Indio” flavor. It is our opinion that this variety does not have easily identifiable flavor impact compounds, but the esters likely play an important role.


1. R. Tressl, F. Drawert, W. Heimann and R. Emberger, Gas chromatographicstudyofaroma compounds ofbananas. Z. Naturforsch., 24b, 781-783 (1969).

2. R. Tressl, F. Drawert, W. Heimann and R. Emberger, About the biogenesis of aroma substances in plants and fruits. VI. Esters, alcohols, carbonylcompounds and phenolether as constituents of banana-aroma. Z. Lebensm. Unters. Forsch., 142, 313-321 (1970).

3. R.G. Berger, F. Drawert and H. Kollmannsberger, Biotechnological production of flavour compounds. II. PA-storage for the compensation of flavour losses in freeze-dried banana slices. Z. Lebensm. Unters. Forsch., 183, 169-171 (1986).

4. H. Shiota, New enteric components in the volatiles ofbanana fruit (Musa sapientum L.). J. Agric. Food Chem., 41, 2056-2062 (1993).

5. J. Pino, M. Fernandez and A. Rosado, Componentes volatiles del platano fruta y platano Wanda cultivados en Cuba. Alimentaria (268), 5355 (1995).

6. H. Maarse, Volatile Compounds in Food, 6th ed., TNO-CIVO, Zeist, The Netherlands, Vol. 1 (1989).

7. K.-H. Engel, J. Heidlas and R. Tressl, The flavour of tropical fruits (banana, melon, pineapple). In: Food Flavours. Part C, The Flavours of Fruits, Elsevier Science Publishing, Amsterdam, Ch. 5 (1990).

8. S.T. Likens and G.B. Nickerson, Detection of certain hop oil constituents in brewing products. Proc. Am. Soc. Brew. Chem., 5-13 (1964).

Jorge A. Pino* and Ariel Ortega

Instituto de Investigaciones para la Industria Alimenticia (IIIA), Carr del Guatao km 3 1/2, La Habana 19200, Cuba

Rolando Marbot

Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas, C. Habana, Cuba

Juan Aguero

Centro de Quimica-Farmaceutica, La Habana, Cuba

*Address for correspondence

Received: June 1999

Revised: August 1999

Accepted: August 1999

Copyright Allured Publishing Corporation Mar/Apr 2003

Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved