Changes in sugars, acids, and volatiles during ripening of koubo [Cereus peruvianus (L.) Miller] fruits

Racheli Ninio, Efraim Lewinsohn, Yosef Mizrahi, Yaron Sitrit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The columnar cactus Cereus peruvianus (L,) Miller, Cactaceae (koubo), is grown commercially in Israel. The unripe fruits are green, and the color changes to violet and then to red when the fruit is fully ripe. The content of soluble sugars was found to increase 5-fold during ripening. Glucose and fructose were the main sugars accumulated in the fruit pulp, and each increased from 0.5 to 5.5 g/100 g fresh weight during ripening. The polysaccharides content decreased during ripening from 1.4 to 0.4 g/100 g fresh weight. The titratable acidity decreased and the pH increased during ripening. The major organic acid found in the fruit was malic acid, which decreased from 0.75 g/100 g fresh weight at the mature green stage to 0.355 g/100 g fresh weight in ripe fruits. Citric, succinic, and oxalic acids were found in concentrations lower than 0.07 g/100 g fresh weight. Prominent accumulation of aroma volatiles occurred toward the end of the ripening process. The main volatile found in the ripe fruit was linalool, reaching concentrations of 1.5-3.5 μg/g fresh weight.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)797-801
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 29 Jan 2003


  • Acids
  • Aroma
  • Cactaceae
  • Cereus peruvianus
  • Koubo
  • Koubo cactus
  • Pitaya
  • Ripening
  • Sugars
  • Volatiles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (all)


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