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Limonene: A target for Coffea arabica aromatic quality breeding

Montagnon C., Lonzarich V., Neuschwander H., Suggi Liverani F., Navarini L.. 2019. In : 27th Biennial ASIC Conference, Portland, 16-20 September 2018. Book of abstracts 2019. Portland : ASIC, 1 p.. Biennial ASIC Conference. 27, 2018-09-16/2018-09-20, Portland (Etats-Unis).

RATIONALE Aromatic quality is a very important target for genetic improvement and breeding of Coffea arabica. For coffee geneticists, it is of paramount importance to set targets and breed for aromatic quality as expected by the coffee industry for the consumers. The objective of the study was to relate coffee industry quality demand to objective workable criteria for selection. METHODS We presented 60 random commercial samples to a panel made of professional cuppers from the industry for a Signal Detection sensorial analysis. Based on the results, we selected 12 samples representative of the diversity of quality evaluated by the panel. On this sub-sample, we ran i) a Lexicon sensorial analysis and ii) a SPME analysis of Volatile Compounds (VOC) on both green and roasted coffee. We then implemented several statistical analysis to relate the appreciation of the quality from the professional industry coffee cuppers to some objective quality attributes and specific VOCs. RESULTS After the Signal Detection sensorial Analysis, 3 consistant clusters were identified as: Super Specialty Quality Coffee, Specialty Coffee and Commercial Coffee. Lexicon analysis prove that Super Specialty had no negative flavor or aroma attributes and at least two faborable flavor or aroma attributes. Various VOCs appeared to be related to the Signal Detection Sensory Analysis. However, Limonene appeared to be the most discriminant one on green coffee. CONCLUSIONS & PERSPECTIVES To our knowledge, it is the first public study searching for objective Coffee Aromatic Quality based on a panel made of coffee industry professional cuppers. Limonene appeared to be a good proxy for market coffee aromatic quality measured on green coffee. This opens a strategy for Coffee Aromatic Quality genetic improvement based on the screening of candidates for the limonene content of green coffee. Searching for molecular markers related to Limonene will further speed up the genetic progress.

Mots-clés : coffea arabica; sélection; flaveur; limonène; café vert

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