Electronic noses, i.e. arrays of differently coated quartz microbalances (QMB), have been used for selective detection of, and discrimination between, volatile organic compounds (VOC) formed during the post-harvest ripening of apples. The flavor components to be differentiated are chemically rather similar carbonyl compounds, chiefly aldehydes and esters. Because their relative ratios change during the post-harvest ripening period, appropriately selected sensor-active layers lead to characteristic patterns of the sensor responses which can be analyzed via pattern-recognition methods. This enables qualitative and quantitative identification of individual components whereby the post-harvest ripening of apples and other fruits can be monitored. Different kinds of apple differ in type and concentration of individual carbonyl compounds.