Pecan-halves available to consumers in retail stores frequently failed to meet high quality standards. Excessive small pieces was the most common defect. When all USDA grading criteria were considered, 50.6% of pecan-half samples failed to meet U. S. No. 1 standards.
On a hedonic scale of 1 to 10, the average panel rating score of pecan halves was 6.42 based on flavor, appearance, aroma, color, and texture. The score of samples purchased in the Southeast and Northeast was significantly higher than that of samples purchased in the Midwest. Over all geographic regions, there was no significant difference in the ratings of ‘Stuart’ and seedlings. ‘Stuart’ rated higher than mixed cultivars at the 0.1% level of probability. Seedlings rated significantly higher than mixed cultivars. There were no significant relationships between ratings and the time of year samples were purchased or the brand of pecans.
The moisture content, a factor influencing the quality of pecan halves, varied from 6.4% to 2.3%.
‘Woodroof’ pecan [Carya illinoensis (Wang) K. Koch] has been released to provide a disease-resistant, very good quality cultivar for home orchards in the southeastern United States where scab [Fusicladium effusum (Wint.)] is a major disease. Within the past 20 years, scab has greatly reduced pecan yields in home plantings in the southeast where the small number of trees does not justify expensive disease-control equipment (3, 5).