Metabolic profile of different Italian cultivars of hazelnut (Corylus avellana) by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy

High-resolution proton NMR spectroscopy was performed on three Italian hazelnut cultivars, Tonda di Giffoni, Mortarella and Tonda Gentile Romana, and it allowed to define their metabolic profile. The hazelnuts were grown in the same pedoclimatic conditions in the Monti Cimini (Latium) area. The samples were obtained by using a modified Bligh–Dyer extraction protocol which did not give rise to artefacts arising from the demolition of macromolecular structures such as proteins and polysaccharides. Metabolites belonging to different chemical classes (amino acids, organic acids, carbohydrates, lipids and miscellaneous compounds) were identified and quantified. The three cultivars were discriminated by means of univariate (ANOVA) and multivariate (PCA) statistical analysis.