Date of Award

8-2014

Level of Access

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Food Science and Human Nutrition

Advisor

Jason Bolton

Second Committee Member

Brian Perkins

Third Committee Member

Beth Calder

Abstract

Tomato (Solarium lycopersicum) plants produce nutrients that are beneficial for human consumption and health. The concentration or amount of these compounds is influenced by the maturity or ripeness of the fruit. The objective of this research work was to quantify the amount of glutamic acid in ten Maine grown tomato cultivars harvested at two different stages of ripeness. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with fluorescence detector was used for the analysis. After extraction of the amino acids with 80% ethanol (EtOH), the samples were vacuum dried and derivatized with internal standard (α-aminobutyric acid) prior to HPLC analyses system with excitation at 250 nm and emission at 395 nm.

The amount of glutamic acid (in mg/100g of dry sample) ranged from 56.24 to 138.56 for set 1 (less ripe) while it ranged from 46.27 to 123.88 mg/100 g for set 3 (more ripe). The results showed that glutamic acid levels vary based on the tomato cultivars rather than the stages of ripeness as statistical analysis proved that there was no significant difference (p > 0.05) in glutamic acid levels the two set of tomato cultivars.

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