Mangos (Magnifera indica L., Anacardiaceae) and papayas (Carica papaya L., Caricaceae) are exotic fruits with increasing importance for the crop trade. With a worldwide production of 25.1 million metric tons in the year 2001, mangos are in second place in the FAO statistics of exotic fruits (behind bananas, which boast a production volume of about 58 million metric tons in 2001). M. indica and C. papaya find wide use in the flavoring of foodstuffs, in addition to distribution as fruit, juice and further aromatic-fruity food products, like ice-cream, sweets and tea. In perfumery applications, the characteris– tic, pleasant exotic-fruity aroma of mangos (apple, pineapple, banana and peach notes) and papayas (faint-tropic, banana- and pumpkin-like notes) is part of many applications in perfumery (e.g. perfumes) and cosmetics (e.g. lotions, shower-gels, deodorants and soaps). Many analyses of the aroma compounds of M. indica and C. papaya fruits and their different extracts have been performed in the past to identify these volatiles, responsible for the characteristic aroma. About 300 odor compounds for mangos and papayas, respectively, have been identified, with the dominating impact compounds being monoterpenes and short-chain alcohols, acids, esters and lactones.
For many researchers in this field, the preferred methods of analysis for the aroma compositions of mango and papaya samples are dynamic headspace and solvent extraction. However, to the best of our knowledge, no comparative studies on headspacevolatiles of ripe and unripe fruits of M. indica and C. papaya from Cameroon, trapped by solid-phase-microextraction (SPME), separated using achiral- (polar and apolar) and chiral-phase gas chromatography and single compounds detected as well as identifi ed by flame-ionization and mass spectroscopy, are available until now. Therefore, the objective of this work was to identify the fragrance compounds of this exotic Cameroonian fruits by the above mentioned gas chromatographicspectroscopic and olfactoric methods (GC-sniffing-technique and olfactoric correlations) to find out the importance of each single constituent with their specific odor attributes, responsible for the characteristic and pleasant fruit aroma of mangos and papayas for the first time.