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Frank Kappel, Bob Fisher-Fleming, and Eugene Hogue

The relationship between the objective assessment of analytical measures of sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) fruit quality and the corresponding sensory panel rating was studied. The optimum size, based on average fruit weight, for sweet cherries was 11 to 12 g. A nine-row or 29- to 30-mm-diameter sweet cherry would be the equivalent industry standard. When two separate panels were conducted with overlapping samples, panelists had similar results for optimum fruit size. The optimum color is represented by the #6 color chip of the prototype of the Centre Technique Interprofessionnel des Fruits et Légumes (CTIFL) scale (#5 in new commercial CTIFL chart). A fruit firmness between 70 and 75 using a Shore Instrument durometer was considered optimum. Minimum soluble solids concentration (SSC) for sweet cherries was between 17% and 19% and optimum pH of the juice was 3.8. The optimum sweet–sour balance was between 1.5 and 2 (SSC/ml NaOH).

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Sokrith Sea, Cyril Rakovski, and Anuradha Prakash

ripeness (firmness reading of 3 to 5 force in pounds or 13.3 to 22.2 N), affective testing was conducted with 80 to 100 consumers to determine the degree of liking of appearance (peel and internal flesh), flavor, and texture using a 9-point hedonic scale

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Diana Niñirola, Juan A. Fernández, Encarnación Conesa, Juan A. Martínez, and Catalina Egea-Gilabert

cold storage by a test panel consisting of 11 people. Visual quality factors (overall visual quality and global quality) were scored on a 9-point hedonic scale (1 = extremely poor, 3 = poor, 5 = acceptable and limit of usability, 7 = good, and 9

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Michael P. Dzakovich, Celina Gómez, and Cary A. Mitchell

hedonic scale, values from 1 to 5 represented “dislike extremely,” “dislike moderately,” “neutral,” “like moderately,” and “like extremely,” respectively. The fields “color,” “texture,” “aftertaste,” and “overall approval” were not used in the objective

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Kathleen Kelley, Jeffrey Hyde, James Travis, and Robert Crassweller

( Resurreccion, 1998 ) participants might have for a particular apple. A nine-point hedonic scale (9 = “like extremely,” 5 = “neither like nor dislike,” 1 = “dislike extremely”) was used to evaluate appearance, aroma, texture, flavor, and overall appeal

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Elizabeth A. Baldwin, John W. Scott, and Jinhe Bai

randomized (some score sheets started with sample A, others on sample B or C, etc.), with which to rate the intensity of sweetness, sourness, and overall flavor on a 1 to 9 hedonic scale, where 1 was least sweet, sour, or flavorful and 9 was most sweet, sour

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T.M. Work, R.W. Work, A.A. Bushway, and J.R. Schupp

Increased consumer awareness of pesticide usage in fruit production and demand for reduced pesticide residue on produce are major incentives to investigate the integration of disease-resistant apple cultivars into commercial fruit production. Appearance, flavor, and texture are key attributes in determining consumer acceptance of these new cultivars. The objectives of this study were to examine the physical, chemical, and sensory characteristics of five DRCs, `Liberty', `McShay', `NY 75414-1', `NY 74828-12', and `NY 65707-19', at harvest and following commercial storage. Consumer panels were asked to indicate their opinion of appearance, flavor, and overall attributes using a 9-point hedonic scale. Firmness, sweetness, and tartness were measured using a 5-point “just right” scale. Sugars, Hunter color, pH, titratable acidity, texture, Brix, and browning were determined. Statistical analysis of the parametric and nonparametric data were performed using SAS. Significant differences (P < 0.05) were seen in titratable acidity, Brix, Hunter color, and texture. `Liberty' and `NY 65707-19' received significantly (P < 0.05) higher liking scores for overall appearance. Firmness, sweetness, and tartness liking scores decreased over storage. However, `Liberty' and `NY 75414-1' maintained acceptable scores for these attributes. `NY 74828-12' was found significantly lower in degree of browning. Based upon the performance of these cultivars, `NY 75414-1' and `Liberty' have the greatest potential for fresh-market consumer acceptability and `NY 74828-12” may serve as a good processing cultivar due to reduced browning.

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Xin Zhao, Edward E. Carey, and Fadi M. Aramouni

Consumers of organic food tend to believe that it tastes better than its conventional counterpart. However, there is a lack of scientific studies on sensory analysis of organic food. A consumer taste test was conducted to compare the acceptability of organically and conventionally grown spinach. Spinach samples were collected from organically and conventionally managed plots at the Kansas State University Research and Extension Center, Olathe. One hundred-twenty-two untrained panelists (80 female and 42 male) participated in this consumer study. Fresh and 1-week-old spinach leaves were evaluated by 60 and 62 consumers, respectively, using a 9-point hedonic scale (9 = like extremely, 5 = neither like nor dislike, 1 = dislike extremely). The ANOVA results showed that fresh organic spinach had a higher preference score than corresponding conventional spinach, although not at a significant level (P = 0.1790). For the 1-week-old spinach, the difference diminished, and instead, conventional spinach had a higher preference rating. Among 61 consumers who made comments regarding the sensory evaluation, 29 claimed that organic spinach was more tasty and flavorful; 19 consumers thought conventional spinach was better; 13 consumers could not tell the difference. Even though this consumer study did not reveal significant differences in consumer preference for organic vs. conventional spinach, further well-designed sensory tests are warranted given the trends indicated in our study. Assessment of sensory attributes of organic vegetables after storage also deserves further attention. Ideally, both consumer tests and descriptive analysis using trained panelists will be considered.

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Elizabeth A. Baldwin and Bruce Wood

Unsaturated fatty acid oxidation results in rancid off-flavors in pecan [Carya illinoinensis(Wangenh.) K. Koch] kernels, which shortens shelf life under ambient conditions. For this reason kernels are stored under costly refrigeration. Edible coatings [hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) and carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), plus various additives] were used to restrict oxygen contact with kernel associated fats by acting as a barrier to gas exchange. Fresh pecans were acquired from orchards, air-dried, shelled, and treated with various coating formulations. The kernels were then drained, dried, and stored several months in open air or perforated zip-lock plastic bags at 20 to 25 °C and periodically evaluated by 18 to 20 sensory panelists using a 9-point hedonic scale for appearance, shine, off-flavor or overall flavor, and texture. Coated kernels generally scored lower for off-flavor, and higher for overall flavor. Preliminary coatings resulted in a less preferred appearance, but modifications to formulations of subsequent coatings resulted in either improved appearance or had no effect on appearance of kernels compared with uncoated control. Coatings with CMC imparted a shine to coated kernels, but did not generally affect texture. Hexanal accumulation, a good indicator of rancidity, of the homogenate of kernels stored at ambient temperatures for 5 and 9 months was lower in kernels coated with CMC than in the uncoated control, with CMC coatings including α-tocopherol being most effective. Thus, CMC-based coatings exhibit potential for extending the shelf life of pecan kernels.

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J.K. Collins, A.R. Davis, A. Adams, and P. Perkins-Veazie

Red-fleshed watermelons contain lycopene, a compound that has health functional properties. Watermelon intake may be restricted for individuals who have diabetes or those who limit carbohydrate intake. Recently, a low-sugar watermelon (<6% soluble solids content) was developed using traditional plant breeding techniques. Low-sugar and a commercial variety of watermelon (9% SSC) were washed, cut in half and red flesh was removed and cut into cubes. Low and high levels of artificial sweetener were added to the low-sugar watermelon. Students at a Native American school (grades 1 through 12) and adults at a Native American Feeding Center were asked to rate how much they liked or disliked the watermelon using a seven-point hedonic scale. Lycopene and other carotenoids were analyzed from samples using established methods. Artificially sweetened melons were rated as acceptable as commercial control melons for taste. Lycopene and total carotenoid levels were similar among the treatments. These results show that artificially sweetened low-sugar watermelons were acceptable to Native American consumer groups.