Fukushima-produced peach variety "Akatsuki" rich in sweet-aroma element: study

7 November 2019

A team of researchers at Fukushima University said on Nov. 6 that it has found the "Akatsuki" variety of peaches produced in Fukushima Prefecture is richer than peaches of other prefectures in terms of the fragrant component called "lactones," which give off the sweet aroma characteristic of the fruit. It was announced at a press conference at the national university in Fukushima city held by the team, led by Kazuaki Yoshinaga, associate professor at the Faculty of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

The team analyzed elements of peach samples from Japan's three leading Akatsuki-producing prefectures of Fukushima, Okayama and Yamagata, using a state-of-the-art device capable of precisely measuring odor components. The study found the fruit produced in Fukushima contains more lactones than in the two other regions. In particular, the proportion of delta-decanolactone contained in Fukushima peaches of the variety was 49%, more than double the level of content in other varieties.

"We would like to deepen our observations, including whether there is any environmental factor peculiar to Fukushima, by broadening the scope of subjects covered by our study and increasing data samples," Yoshinaga said. He added that the study could be used as scientific evidence to improve the reputation of Fukushima-produced peaches and that his team "will make it into a treatise to be reported at an academic society meeting."

For their characteristic sweet aroma, lactones are used generally for perfume, daily necessities, flavoring agents, and the like.

【Photo】Associate professor Yoshinaga announces the outcome of his team's study at a press conference.

(Translated by Kyodo News)