Evaluation of ambient mass spectrometry tools

Horticulturists are interested in evaluating how cultivar, environment, or production system inputs can affect postharvest quality. Ambient mass spectrometry approaches enable analysis of minimally processed samples under ambient conditions and offer an attractive high-throughput alternative for assessing quality characteristics in plant products. Here, we evaluate direct analysis in real time (DART-MS) mass spectrometry and rapid evaporative ionization-mass spectrometry (REIMS) to assess quality characteristics in various pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) cultivars. DART-MS exhibited the ability to discriminate between pod colors and pungency based on chemical fingerprints, while REIMS could distinguish pepper market class (e.g., bell, lunchbox, and popper).


Fig: Vizualization of multivariate and univariate statistical analysis ofDART-MS data.

Furthermore, DART-MS analysis resulted in the putative detection of important bioactive compounds in human diet such as vitamin C, p-coumaric acid, and capsaicin. The results of this study demonstrate the potential for these approaches as accessible and reliable tools for high throughput screening of pepper quality.

Mason, T.J., Bettenhausen, H.M., Chaparro, J.M. et al. Evaluation of ambient mass spectrometry tools for assessing inherent postharvest pepper quality. Hortic Res 8, 160 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41438-021-00596-x

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