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  • Author or Editor: C.R. Hampson x
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Sensory evaluation methods were used to establish tentative guidelines for screening apple (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) breeding selections for four visual attributes. A panel of 42 regional consumers rated sample selections for fruit size on the 7-point “Just Right” (JR) scale, for fruit shape on a 7-point hedonic (liking) scale, and for the appearance of lenticels and stem bowl russet (SBR) on a 7-point affective (acceptability) scale. The panel most preferred a fruit about 7.5 cm in diameter. No evidence was found for range bias or for differences between yellow and red apples in size preference. Women and panelists over 55 years of age tended to prefer a slightly smaller apple. Panelists liked all the most common apple shapes. Lenticels generally became unacceptable when they exceeded 1.0 mm in diameter, but lenticel density was not related to acceptability. For red or yellow apples, SBR was acceptable on average, provided its maximum extent did not exceed about 55% of the fruit diameter. The panel's tolerance to SBR resembled that of a larger regional population, and their fruit size preferences resembled those reported elsewhere for European consumers. Similar methods could be used by other breeders to assess the preferences of their target consumer population.

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The response of four apple (Malus ×domestica) cultivars (Gala, Granny Smith, Ambrosia, and Aurora Golden Gala™) to fresh-cut processing at core temperatures of 1, 5, 13, and 20 °C was investigated. Fruit were cut after a 24-h preconditioning at one of the four temperatures and a commercial antibrowning formulation was applied as a 7% (w/v) dip before packaging the slices and storing them for 3 weeks at 5 °C. Fruit firmness generally decreased with increasing core temperature, except for Aurora Golden Gala™, which maintained similar firmness at all temperatures. Firmness varied among cultivars, but all except Granny Smith apples held at 13 and 20 °C, were at or above a minimum processing firmness standard of 14 lbf. Cut-edge browning of slices, in response to processing temperature, varied among the cultivars. In the extreme, ‘Granny Smith’ was the most responsive, showing the largest variance in surface lightness across the temperature range. ‘Ambrosia’ was the least responsive to temperature, showing no significant difference in L-value despite the temperature at which it was processed. ‘Gala’ and Aurora Golden Gala™ were intermediate in response. The visual quality rating for ‘Granny Smith’ at 3 weeks was poor for slices from all processing temperatures. ‘Ambrosia’ slices maintained acceptable quality ratings over the full test temperature range. ‘Gala’ slices had lower quality ratings when processed at warmer temperatures, whereas Aurora Golden Gala™ showed increased quality ratings with warmer processing temperatures. It was concluded that ‘Gala’ were best processed at low core temperatures, ‘Ambrosia’ could be processed at all tested temperatures, and Aurora Golden Gala™ produced better quality slices when fruit were are room temperature (20 °C) before slicing.

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Cultivar and planting site are two factors that often receive minimal attention, but can have a significant impact on the quality of apple (Malus ×domestica) produced. A regional project, NE-183 The Multidisciplinary Evaluation of New Apple Cultivars, was initiated in 1995 to systematically evaluate 20 newer apple cultivars on Malling.9 (M.9) rootstock across 19 sites in North America. This paper describes the effect of cultivar and site on fruit quality and sensory attributes at a number of the planting sites for the 1998 through 2000 growing seasons. Fruit quality attributes measured included fruit weight, length: diameter ratio, soluble solids concentration (SSC), titratable acidity (TA), flesh firmness, red overcolor, and russet. Fruit sensory characteristics rated included crispness, sweetness, and juiciness, based on a unipolar intensity scale (where 1 = least and 5 = most), and acidity, flavor, attractiveness, and desirability based on a bipolar hedonic scale (where 1 = dislike and 5 = like extremely). All fruit quality and sensory variables measured were affected by cultivar. The two-way interaction of cultivar and planting site was significant for all response variables except SSC, TA, russet, crispness, and sweetness ratings. The SSC: TA ratio was strongly correlated with sweetness and acidity sensory rating, but was weakly correlated with flavor rating. The results demonstrate that no one cultivar is ideally suited for all planting sites and no planting site is ideal for maximizing the quality of all apple cultivars.

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