Use of descriptive analysis and preference mapping for early-stage assessment of new and established apples.

Cliff, M.A., Stanich, K., Lu, R., and Hampson, C.R. (2016). "Use of descriptive analysis and preference mapping for early-stage assessment of new and established apples.", Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 96(6), pp. 2170-2183. doi : 10.1002/jsfa.7334  Access to full text

Abstract

Background: This research compared four new apple selections with 16 established apples using descriptive analysis (DA), instrumental analyses and preference mapping, in order to identify suitable selections for commercialization and further research. Results: DA revealed that the new apple selections (PARC1, PARC2, PARC3, PARC4) were very similar in texture/mouthfeel (T) but differed in their flavor (F) and appearance (A) characteristics. Preference mapping revealed that consumers' T preferences were driven primarily by crispness, juiciness and lack of skin toughness, while F preferences were driven by sweetness, lack of tartness and presence of fruity flavor. Consumers' A preferences were driven by a high percentage of red color and degree of striping. The majority of consumers had similar T (82–85%) and F (88–92%) preferences for the early- and mid/late-harvest apples. In contrast, consumers' A preferences were differentiated into three subgroups (60%, 24%, 16%) for the early-harvest apples, but not for the mid/late-harvest apples. The new apple selections were among those most liked for T, F and A. Conclusion: This early-stage consumer research confirmed that the new apples were comparable, if not superior, to the established apples. As such, it provided the necessary feedback to industry to proceed with commercialization and optimization of cultural and storage practices.

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