Cell walls as determinant of apple texture quality

Apple fruit texture is a key quality trait orienting consumer choice and agro-industrial processes. Among the several factors at different scales involved in texture, cell walls and their constitutive hemicelluloses are determinant in controlling the mechanical properties of the cells and tissues. In this report, the dynamic of cell wall composition and hemicelluloses fine structure during fruit development and ripening was studied from different apple genotypes collected over 2 years. Typical loss of cell wall galactose was observed along apple expansion and ripening. The combination of cell wall enzymatic hydrolysis and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry revealed important hemicelluloses modifications along the fruit construction and maturation affecting both xyloglucan and the manor amount of glucomannans. Similar modifications were observed for individuals collected over the two years. The fine-tuning of hemicelluloses structure during apple development and ripening appears as an addition mean by which the fruit controls its mechanical properties and resulting texture.

Lahaye Marc, Malick Mandy, Quemener Bernard, Laurens François