Investigation of key chemical species from durian peduncles and their correlations with durian maturity

The popularity and high price of durian make quality control in terms of ripeness very important, which in turn depends heavily on harvesting at an appropriate maturity stage. To date, reports on data-driven methods for maturity prediction are scarce, with many rather focusing on ripeness prediction. Herein, we report the first disclosure of key molecular markers in the liquid extract of durian peduncle that can be a predictive tool for maturity. Multiple chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques including TLC, HPLC, PS-MS, LC–MS/MS, and NMR, were used to characterize chemical profiles of the aqueous extracts from peduncles at different ages. Four compounds that show positive correlations with maturity were identified as sucrose, asparagine, arginine, and pipecolic acid, with asparagine as the most abundant species. This finding paves the way for more research of high impact such as the relationship between biochemical reactions in peduncle and pulp, and the development of accurate and non-destructive sensors for maturity prediction.