Strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.) contains many secondary metabolites potentially beneficial for human health, and several of these compounds contribute to strawberry sensory properties, as well. In this study, three strawberry cultivars grown both conventionally and organically were subjected to nontargeted metabolite profiling analysis with LC-qTOF-ESI-MS and to descriptive sensory evaluation by a trained panel. Combined metabolome and sensory data (PLS model) revealed that 79% variation in the metabolome explained 88% variation in the sensory profiles. Flavonoids and condensed and hydrolyzable tannins determined the orosensory properties, and fatty acids contributed to the odor attributes of strawberry. Overall, the results indicated that the chemical composition and sensory quality of strawberries grown in different cultivation systems vary mostly according to cultivar. Organic farming practices may enhance the accumulation of some plant metabolites in specific strawberry genotypes. Careful cultivar selection is a key factor for the improvement of nutritional quality and marketing value of organic strawberries.
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