Steam Explosion (STEX) of Citrus × Poncirus Hybrids with Exceptional Tolerance to Candidatus Liberibacter Asiaticus (CLas) as Useful Sources of Volatiles and Other Commercial Products

Dorado et al. (2021). Biology 10 (12)
Names (2)
Liberibacter Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus
General Agricultural and Biological Sciences General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology General Immunology and Microbiology
Florida citrus production has declined 75% due to Huanglongbing (HLB), a disease caused by the pathogenic bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas). Methods to combat CLas are costly and only partially effective. The cross-compatible species Poncirus trifoliata and some of its hybrids are known to be highly tolerant to CLas, and thus can potentially serve as an alternative feedstock for many citrus products. To further investigate the commercial potential of citrus hybrids, three citrus hybrids, US-802, US-897, and US-942, were studied for their potential as feedstocks for citrus co-products using steam explosion (STEX) followed by water extraction. Up to 93% of sugars were recovered. US-897 and US-942 have similar volatile profiles to that of the commercial citrus fruit types and as much as 85% of these volatiles could be recovered. Approximately 80% of the pectic hydrocolloids present in all three hybrids could be obtained in water washes of STEX material. Of the phenolics identified, the flavanone glycosides, i.e., naringin, neohesperidin, and poncirin were the most abundant quantitatively in these hybrids. The ability to extract a large percentage of these compounds, along with their inherent values, make US-802, US-897, and US-942 potentially viable feedstock sources for citrus co-products in the current HLB-blighted environment.
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