Because of the high humidity and incidence of disease, grapes grown for commercial production in the southern United States need to be disease tolerant. The muscadine grape (V. rotundifolia Michx.) is native to the southern United States. Currently, muscadines are grown commercially in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina, and Virginia, and are resistant to a variety of diseases and pests (Bouquet, 1981; Olien, 1990; Ren and Lu, 2002). Muscadine production can be very profitable for southern growers, and in a 2006 profitability study, 12 U.S. southern states grew ≈2025 ha of muscadine grapes, of which 90% were ‘Carlos’, a bronze-processing cultivar (Carpio et al., 2008; Cline and Fisk, 2006).
Consumer sensory evaluations on muscadines indicated that consumers liked the flavor of the grape but disliked the seeds and tough skin (Degner and Mathis, 1980). In a consumer study by Brown et al. (2016), thinner skins and higher juice pH were associated with greater overall liking of muscadine grapes. Consumer acceptability of muscadines can be quantified with soluble solids analysis, texture analysis, and sensory analysis (Brown et al., 2016). However, most of the studies have focused on juice rather than the whole muscadine berry (Flora, 1979; Meullenet et al., 2008; Trappey et al., 2007). In addition, limited studies have been carried out on descriptive sensory analysis of whole, fresh-market muscadine berries. Descriptive sensory analysis quantitatively describes fruit attributes, such as basic tastes, aroma, and texture, using trained panelists (Contador et al., 2017). Utilization of this method has the potential to describe how an attribute is perceived by the consumer. Descriptive sensory analysis provides valuable information for fruit breeders on fruit attributes to identify potential improvements.
The University of Arkansas’s Fruit Breeding Program began breeding muscadines in 2005 with a focus on large fruit size, crisp texture, edible skin, self-fruitful flowers, seedlessness, and improved postharvest storability (Barchenger, 2015a). Increasing the consumer liking of muscadine grapes, and products produced from these grapes, is an important consideration in muscadine breeding. Newer cultivars of fresh-market muscadines with improved consumer quality attributes have the potential to expand the grape market in the United States.
Understanding the physiochemical and sensory attributes of Arkansas-grown muscadine genotypes (cultivars and advanced selections) is important to demonstrate fresh-market potential. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the physiochemical attributes and descriptive sensory attributes of fresh-market muscadine grapes at harvest.
Barchenger, D.W., Clark, J.R., Threlfall, R.T., Howard, L.R. & Brownmiller, C.R. 2015a Evaluation of physiochemical and storability attributes of muscadine grapes (Vitis rotundifolia Michx.) HortScience 50 104 111
Barchenger, D.W., Clark, J.R., Threlfall, R.T., Howard, L.R. & Brownmiller, C.R. 2015b Nutraceutical changes in muscadine grape and grape segments during storage J. Amer. Pomol. Soc. 69 66 73
Brown, K., Sims, C., Odabasi, A., Bartoshuk, L., Conner, P. & Gray, D. 2016 Consumer acceptability of fresh-market muscadine grapes J. Food Sci. 81 S2808 S2816
Carpio, C.E., Safley, C.D. & Poling, E.B. 2008 Estimated costs and investment analysis of producing and harvesting muscadine grapes in the southeastern United States HortTechnology 18 308 317
Cline, B. & Fisk, C. 2006 Overview of muscadine grape acreage, cultivars and production areas in the southeastern U.S. Muscadine Grape Workshop for Cooperative Extension Agents, 2006. The Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium. 25 July 2007. <http://www.smallfruits.org/CoAgentTraining/Sept06Training/No1Muscadine_acres_and_cultivars.pdf>.
Contador, L., Díaz, M., Hernández, E., Shinya, P. & Infante, R. 2017 The relationship between instrumental tests and sensory determinations of peach and nectarine texture Eur. J. Hort. Sci. 81 189 196
Crisosto, C.H. & Crisosto, G.M. 2005 Relationship between ripe soluble solids concentration (RSSC) and consumer acceptance of high and low acid melting flesh peach and nectarine (Prunus persica (L.) Batsch) cultivars Postharvest Biol. Technol. 38 239 246
Meilgaard, M.C., Carr, B.T. & Civille, G.V. 2007 Sensory evaluation techniques. 4th ed. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL
Meullenet, J.F., Lovely, C., Threlfall, R., Morris, J.R. & Striegler, R.K. 2008 An ideal point density plot method for determining an optimal sensory profile for muscadine grape juice Food Qual. Prefer. 19 210 219
Ren, Z. & Lu, J. 2002 Muscadine rootstock increased the resistance of Florida hybrid bunch grape cv. Blanc du Bois to Pierce and Anthracnose diseases Proc. Annu. Meet. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 115 108 110
Segantini, D.M., Threlfall, R.T., Clark, J.R., Howard, L.R. & Brownmiller, C.R. 2018 Physiochemical changes in floricane and primocane blackberries harvested from primocane genotypes HortScience 53 9 15
Striegler, R.K., Morris, J.R., Carter, P.M., Clark, J.R., Threlfall, R.T. & Howard, L.R. 2005 Yield, quality, and nutraceutical potential of selected muscadine cultivars grown in southwestern Arkansas HortTechnology 15 276 284
Threlfall, R.T., Morris, J.R., Meullenet, J.F. & Striegler, R.K. 2007 Sensory characteristics, composition, and nutraceutical content of juice from Vitis rotundifolia (muscadine) cultivars Amer. J. Enol. Viticult. 58 268 273
Trappey, A.F., Johnson, C.E. & Wilson, P.W. 2007 Consumer acceptance of mayhaw (Crataegus opaca Hook. and Arn.) juice blended with muscadine grape (Vitis rotundifolia Michx.) juice Intl. J. Fruit Sci. 6 53 65
Walker, T.L., Morris, J.R., Threlfall, R.T., Main, G.L., Lamikanra, O. & Leong, S. 2001 Density separation, storage, shelf life, and sensory evaluation of ‘Fry’ muscadine grapes HortScience 36 941 945