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A. Plotto, M.R. McDaniel, and J.P. Mattheis

`Gala' is an early season apple variety that has a distinctive aroma and flavor. Studies were conducted to identify volatile compounds that contribute to `Gala' aroma. `Gala' apples were harvested at optimum maturity in a commercial orchard. Volatile compounds were trapped on activated charcoal using dynamic headspace sampling and eluted with carbon disulfide. Odor profiles of the samples were determined using OSME, a method developed at Oregon State Univ. that combines gas chromatography and olfactometry with a time-intensity scale. Three trained panelists described odor characteristics of compounds eluted through a sniff port of a gas chromatograph. Compounds were identified by matching Kovats indices with those of standards and also by mass spectrometry. Butyl acetate, 2-methyl butyl acetate, and pentyl acetate were characteristic of `Gala' apple. Methyl-2-methyl butyrate, ethyl-2-methyl butyrate, pentyl acetate, and butyl-2-methyl butyrate carried apple-like descriptors.

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A. Plotto, M.R. McDaniel, and J.P. Mattheis

`Gala' is an early maturing apple variety that has a distinctive aroma and flavor. Its storage season is short and flavor volatile production is reduced following controlled atmosphere (CA) storage. The aroma and flavor characters of `Gala' apples were identified by 10 trained panelists. A vocabulary of 13 descriptors for the aroma of whole and cut fruit and 16 descriptors for flavor were used to characterize the changes of apples stored in CA and/or regular atmosphere (RA) during five months. When compared to RA storage, intensity of fruity (pear, banana and strawberry) and floral characters decreased after 2.5 months in CA for whole and cut fruit aroma and flavor. During the entire storage period under CA, aroma of cut apples retained high vegetative and citrus characters but had a less intense anise aroma. Sourness, starchiness and astringency were significantly higher, however, sweetness was significantly lower. A musty note was perceived in whole apples stored in CA for 5 months. Differences in fruitiness of whole fruit and sourness only were found between fruit stored for 4 months in CA followed by 1 month in RA and fruit stored 5 months in CA. Relationships between panel ratings of specific characters and corresponding quantitative analysis will be discussed.

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R.C. Ebel, W.A. Dozier, B. Hockema, F.M. Woods, R. Thomas, B.S. Wilkins, M. Nesbitt, and R. McDaniel

This study was conducted to determine fruit quality of Satsuma mandarin Citrus unshiu, Marc. `Owari' grown on the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Soluble solids increased linearly and titratable acidity decreased quadratically during October and November for the four sampling years. There was no significant interaction between sampling date and year. There was a significant year effect for titratable acidity, but not soluble solids or their ratio. A 10:1 soluble solids to titratable acidity ratio was observed on 10 Nov. Variation in fruit weight corresponded with cropload. Fruit weight increased during the sampling period due to an increase in fruit length since there was no change in width. Peel color was yellow-orange by 10 Nov., with many fruit still exhibiting patches of green color. Because of some green color present in the peel, the fruit would have to be degreened for successful marketing in U.S. retail chain stores.

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A. Plotto, A. N. Azarenko, M. R. McDaniel, and J.P. Mattheis

`Gala' apples were harvested at weekly intervals for 6 weeks, refrigerated at 0C, and evaluated by a consumer panel monthly over a 6 month period for overall liking, firmness, sweetness, tartness and flavor intensities. Firmness, titratable acidity and soluble solids concentration were also measured. Initial analysis of sensory data revealed multicollinearity for overall liking, sweetness, and flavor. The five descriptors explained 75 % of the dataset variation in the first two factors. An orthogonal rotation separated overall liking, flavor and sweetness, and firmness and tartness into two independent factors. The distribution of mean scores along these independent factors showed that panelists could perceive changes due to ripening and maturation. The multivariate factor analysis was better than univariate ANOVA at illustrating how apple maturity stages were apparent to untrained panelists. Firmness was the only instrumental variable correlated to firmness ratings in the sensory tests. None of the analytical measurements could explain overall liking.

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R.C. Ebel, W.A. Dozier Jr., M.L. Nesbitt, N.R. McDaniel, A.A. Powell, A. W. Caylor, and W.R. Okie

There are a limited number of peach and nectarine cultivars available with chilling requirements that perform well in the Gulf Coast area of Alabama. A test planting of 40 peach and 13 nectarine cultivars was established in 1985 at the Gulf Coast Substation at Fairhope, Ala. The plot was prepared and trees grown according to commercial procedures. Blocks of four trees of each cultivar were planted on a 6 x 6-m spacing. Chill hours were calculated each year based on number of hours at or below 7.3 °C; starting from and including the first 10 consecutive days a total of 50 hours were accumulated to 15 Feb. Data collected included date of full bloom, first harvest date, and total yield. Fruit were measured or rated for skin color, attractiveness, firmness, stone freeness, pubescence, flesh color, dessert quality, shape, weight, percentage with split pits, and occurrence of malformed sutures and extended tips. All cultivars were evaluated for 9 years (1987–95). The best performing varieties are discussed.