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M.A. Cliff, M.C. King and C. Hampson

Conventional (analysis of variance, mean preference scores) and novel (R-index) methodologies for hedonic assessments of `Silken' and `Creston' apple (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) cultivars from the breeding program at Summerland, B.C., were compared with the standard cultivars Royal Gala, Jonagold, and Golden Delicious. Visual and flavor preferences were evaluated for either three or five cultivars by panels of 50 to 200 consumers. Consumers were successfully able to evaluate five apple samples at a given session. Significant differences in mean preference scores and R-indices were found among cultivars. Both `Silken' and `Creston' had higher flavor and lower visual preference ratings than did `Royal Gala'. Results were consistent for both methodologies when panels consisted of 100 or more consumers. R-index, however, expressed the results as a probability rather than a mean score, and was a more understandable and interpretable measure of consumer preference than were preference ratings.

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Margaret A. Cliff, Kareen Stanich and Peter M.A. Toivonen

The splitting of sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) just before harvest can be a considerable problem in the Okanagan Valley (BC, Canada). In an attempt to minimize economic losses, growers apply a commercial cherry cuticle supplement in anticipation of a rainfall event. However, it is unknown if this product affects flavor, texture (crispness, firmness, and juiciness), or visual characteristics (stem browning, pitting, and pebbling) of sweet cherry. Therefore, this research was undertaken to evaluate the effects of a cherry cuticle supplement on the sensory, physicochemical, and visual characteristics of ‘Skeena’ sweet cherry. Firmness measurements were assessed with a fruit-firmness tester, whereas sensory determinations were assessed at first bite (whole-cherry crispness) and after multiple chews (flesh firmness) by a panel of 14 trained panelists. Fruit treated with the cherry cuticle supplement had lower instrumental firmness compared with the control, which was most pronounced after 28 days, with a reduction of 0.53 N. Treated fruit also had significantly lower sensory firmness and higher juiciness than the control fruit. Fruit treated with the cherry cuticle supplement had reduced water loss, less pitting, and lower stem-pull force, resulting in higher frequency of detachment of the stems. Further research would be necessary to evaluate the effects with other cultivars, and in years with rainfall events, as well as when hydrocooling is used.

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M.C. Dever, R.A. MacDonald, M.A. Cliff and W.D. Lane

Cherry cultivars (Prunus avium L.) from the breeding program located at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Research Centre, Summerland, B.C., were profiled for their sensory characteristics. Judges scored six visual attributes, five flavor/texture attributes, and the degree of liking on 10-cm anchored line scales. There were significant differences (P ≤ 0.001) in external firmness, size, and color intensity as well as differences in flesh firmness, juiciness, sweetness, sourness, and intensity of cherry flavor among the cultivars. Principal component analysis (PCA) showed the relationships among the internal sensory attributes, including a calculated sum of perceived sweetness and sourness, and the analytical values (pH, soluble solids concentration, sugar: acid ratio). Factor scores located individual cultivars on the PCA plot and provided a graphic illustration of their sensory characteristics.