The relationship between the objective assessment of sensory attributes or fruit characteristics of pear (Pyrus communis L.) fruit and the corresponding consumer or sensory panel rating was studied. Optimum fruit diameter was between 6 and 7.5 cm. Some fruit were judged to be too large. Fruit with a bright yellow skin were rated ideal, whereas green or red skin was rated less favorably. A pyriform shape with a length: diameter ratio range of 1.44 to 1.48 was optimum. Round fruit or very elongated fruit were considered undesirable. Perceived firmness increased linearly as the measured firmness increased, with the optimum firmness at 27 to 30 N (using an 11.1-mm penetrometer tip). Perceived juiciness was negatively, linearly related to measured firmness. Ideal firmness for an ideal juiciness rating was 18 to 22 N. Acceptable soluble solids concentrations (SSC) varied with the study year, but ranged between 13.6% and 17.2%. The sweet/sour balance (ratio of SSC: titratable acidity) was a useful indicator of fruit quality.
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