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Tyler Simons, Hanne Sivertsen and Jean-Xavier Guinard

Citrus consumers from Northern California—231 adults (ages 18–77 years) and 98 children (ages 8–12 years)—rated their overall liking (OL) and liking for appearance, flavor, and texture, as well as adequacy of sweetness, sourness, firmness, and juiciness for eight commercially available California mandarins and a tangelo. Descriptive analysis was performed on fruit from the same batch. Three adult and two child preference clusters were identified. Most of the adult and child consumers preferred samples that were high in sweetness, peelability, mandarin aroma, and firmness of fruit flesh. Sour fruit was substantially preferred by 23% of the adult consumers. Liking of appearance showed the lowest correlations with liking of flavor, texture, and OL. This work confirms past research on the necessity of sweet, sour, and peelable fruit for consumers. The findings presented here also suggest that consumer clustering can help to demystify research into preferences for mandarins and their hybrids.

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Tyler Simons, Hanne Sivertsen and Jean-Xavier Guinard

Citrus consumers from Northern California–235 adults (age 18+) and 106 children (ages 8–12)–rated their overall liking and liking for appearance, flavor, and texture, as well as adequacy of sweetness, sourness, firmness, and juiciness for 10 commercially available, California-grown navel oranges (Citrus sinensis). Descriptive analysis measures and sugar/acid values were also collected for the fruit. Four adult and two child preference clusters were identified. Adult positive drivers of liking consisted of sweetness, soluble solids content (SSC), overall flavor, orange flavor, and juiciness. A small adult cluster showed a significant preference for acidic fruit. Both segments of child consumers mirrored most of the adults’ preferences. This study shows the homogeneity of multiple cultivars of navel oranges grown in California that are currently available to consumers and confirms past studies that the main drivers of liking consist of sweetness, juiciness, and orange flavor, among others. Just-about-right (JAR) ratings acted to confirm multiple attributes that correlated to liking. The findings presented here have implications for future marketing.

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Amalie B. Kurzer, Rose Bechtel and Jean-Xavier Guinard

To identify factors that may reduce mandarin (Citrus reticulata) and orange (Citrus sinensis) consumer acceptance and to acquire information on current consumer thoughts and perceptions, a series of eight focus groups were held in a college town in northern California: four with children and four with adults. Adults mentioned cost proportionately more (P ≤ 0.05) often than children, as well as farm to fork, purchasing preferences, and seasonality. Children mentioned eating preferences, social use, and healthiness more often (P ≤ 0.05). Flavor and taste were important to both age groups, as well as ease of peeling. Both ages viewed oranges as slightly too large and messier than mandarins. Adults felt frustration that oranges and mandarins lack flavor and that quality is not consistent. Many indicated they would be willing to pay more for consistent quality. Children reported relying on availability, appearance, and the basic tastes to guide their choices and did not express a clear preference between mandarins and oranges. Development of a fruit intermediate in size between an orange and a mandarin, either a small orange or a large mandarin, would potentially satisfy an untapped area of the market. Other potential areas of consumer interest are in fruits with edible peels, like kumquats (Citrus japonica) and in more unique, identifiable varieties such as Cara Cara oranges.

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Tyler J. Simons, Christopher J. McNeil, Aubrey D. Pham, Carolyn M. Slupsky, Mikeal L. Roose and Jean-Xavier Guinard

‘DaisySL’ mandarins (Citrus reticulata Blanco) grafted to Schaub Rough lemon (C. jambhiri Lush; SHRL) Carrizo citrange (Citrus sinensis Osb. × Poncirus trifoliata L. Raf.; CARR), and Rubidoux Trifoliate [Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf.; RUBT] rootstocks were measured to determine their liking by adults and children, sensory properties, and targeted metabolomics over the course of 2 consecutive years. Chemical measurements showed differences in sugars, acids, and ethanol content, whereas a descriptive analysis found variations in sweetness, mandarin flavor, juiciness, and peelability. During both years, adults significantly preferred ‘DaisySL’ mandarins grafted to CARR and RUBT over those grafted to SHRL (P ≤ 0.05). Children liked the fruit grafted to CARR and RUBT rootstocks significantly more than fruit grafted to SHRL during the first year, but they did not prefer fruit grafted to any rootstock during the second year. This research found that ‘DaisySL’ mandarins are a well-liked variety of mid-to-late season mandarin capable of filling the seasonal gap between clementine and W. Murcott varieties. We concluded that the rootstock can affect the chemical composition, sensory profile, and consumer preferences for ‘DaisySL’ mandarins.