The pawpaw is the largest fruit Native to North America with a flavor similar to combination of banana, mango, and pineapple. It is described as having a very tropical smell. At this time little research has been done on the pawpaw as many people are unfamiliar with it. All pawpaw samples are obtained from one of the nine cultivars at the Kentucky State Pawpaw Research Program, currently the focus is on the mango, atwood, and sunflower cultivars. This research is aimed at identifying the odor active compounds within pawpaw through solid phase microextraction, gas chromatography mass spectrometry, and gas chromatography olfactometry. This method allows for the extraction of the volatile odor active compounds in the pawpaw followed by the separation, odor description, and identification of each compound. As of now Dr. Zyzak has identified and published seven odor active compounds that are new to pawpaw. In addition, several known odor active compounds have been identified within the samples along with three odor active compounds that have not been identified yet. Further research and testing will be necessary to identify these three unknown compounds. Once they have been identified the results will be compared to other cultivars to note any changes or similarities. At the conclusion of this research, the odor active compounds will be quantified to allow for later compounding and reconstitution to implement in the culinary world.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2022


Li Li Zyzak

Mentor Department Affiliation


Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level