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

such as ‘Fuji’, ‘Braeburn’, and ‘Gala’ ( McCracken et al., 1994 ) underwent sensory evaluation before becoming readily available at grocery stores and supermarkets. Retail introduction of a new apple cultivar is risky for producers (because they must

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Gerardo Lopez, M. Hossein Behboudian, Gemma Echeverria, Joan Girona, and Jordi Marsal

higher firmness of the DI fruit. Since information on the relationships between instrumental and sensory evaluations of quality has not been reported for any deficit irrigated fruit including peach, we applied three DI treatments to ‘Ryan's Sun’ peach in

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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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S.A. Adams, E.T. Paparozzi, and W.W. Stroup

Plant nutrient treatment differences typically are identified through the use of plant height, leaf quantity, leaf area, and dry weight. Plant color differences may be determined quantitatively, by chromometer, or qualitatively, by sensory evaluations. Chromometer readings are easy an unbiased, however, overall plant quality must be determined by sensory evaluation. In this report, the two evaluation methods are compared. Poinsettias were grown in varying nutrient levels to flowering Chromometer readings were taken on one green leaf and one bract leaf of each flowering plant. Two sensory panels composed of commercial growers/retailers (or trained panel) and consumers, evaluated the mature plants into “Florist”, “Saleable”, or “Non-Saleable” grades. Chromometer and consumer evaluation results were comparable. The trained panel evaluations identified a more specific area of plan acceptance. The chromometer identified only color difference, whereas, the trained panel identified color and plant quality differences. The chromometer and trained panel evaluations, when used together, give complete understanding of treatment effects on quality.

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Angeline M. Peters and Aart van Amerongen

In this pilot study, we investigated the relationship between levels of bitter sesquiterpene lactones and sensory evaluation of chicory (Cichorium intybus L.). The levels of two bitter sesquiterpene lactones—lactucopicrin and lactucin-like sesquiterpene lactones—were measured by ELISA in raw and cooked chicory samples from several cultivars. Data were compared with the results of a sensory evaluation on the flavor attributes bitterness, typical chicory flavor, and total flavor intensity of identical chicory samples. Linear regression analysis demonstrated that the levels of lactucin-like sesquiterpene lactones were significantly related to bitterness (P = 0.006) and total flavor intensity (P = 0.03) attributes in raw chicory samples. When cooked chicory samples were evaluated, the levels of lactucin-like sesquiterpene lactones were significantly related to bitterness (P = 0.002), typical chicory flavor (P < 0.001), and total flavor intensity (P = 0.009) attributes, while lactucopicrin levels were related to bitterness (P = 0.002) only. These results show that the ELISA can be useful to predict flavor attributes in chicory.

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Teresa L. Walker, Justin R. Morris, Renee T. Threlfall, Gary L. Main, Olusola Lamikanra, and Stephen Leong

Muscadine grapes (Vitis rotundifolia Michx.), native to the southeastern United States, have a distinct flavor, and grocers are interested in marketing them as table grapes. Two studies using 'Fry' muscadines were conducted to assist the muscadine industry in providing quality table grapes. Study 1 (1998 and 1999) evaluated density sorting and relationships between maturity, color, soluble solids, firmness, shelf life, and sensory evaluation of grapes. Study 2 (1998) determined the effect of storage on quality attributes of different maturities of grapes and evaluated use of polyethylene bags to extend their storage. Density separation successfully sorted grapes by maturity. Muscadine berry color may allow for visual or electronic sorting to eliminate immature fruit. Sensory panelists could distinguish differences in maturities for all sensory attributes. In 1999 maturities 3 and 4 (≈24-33 soluble solids: acid ratio) were preferred overall by panelists. As maturity increased, soluble solids and pH increased, and acidity decreased. Firmness decreased as maturity and storage at 2 °C increased. Percent decay increased with maturity and storage time. Grapes stored in polyethylene bags had reduced decay. A chart developed from the 1999 data related berry color to soluble solids: acid ratio, soluble solids, tartaric acid, and pH. Data from these studies can be used by industry to establish harvest parameters and enhance marketability of 'Fry' muscadine grapes.

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Fernando Maul, Steven A. Sargent, Elizabeth A. Baldwin, and Charles Sims

`Agriset-761' and `CPT-5' tomato fruits were harvested at green stage and subsequently exposed to a postharvest exogenous ethylene-air mixture (100 ppm C2H4 at 20°C). Tomatoes with visual symptoms of ripening (breaker stage = <10% red coloration) were removed from ethylene treatment after 1, 3, and 5 days and were transferred to 20°C and 85% RH. At “table-ripe” stage (full red coloration and 4-mm fruit deformation after 5 sec@9.8N), whole fruit samples were analyzed for difference/discrimination sensory evaluations, aroma volatile profiles, and chemical composition. Flavor of fruits gassed for 1 day was rated significantly different than that of fruits gassed for 3 or 5 days (n = 25 panelists) for both cultivars. Several panelists noted the perception of “rancid” and “metallic” tastes, and “lingering” aftertaste in fruits gassed for 5 days. Chemical composition assays showed that flavor differences could be partially due to a significant increase in pH values between fruits gassed for 1 and 5 days (4.23 and 4.34, respectively for `Agriset-761') and a significant decrease in titratable acidity (0.91% and 0.73%, respectively, for `Agriset-761'; 1.04% and 0.86%, respectively, for `CPT-5'). No significant differences in soluble solids content or total sugars were found in any treatments for either cultivar. `Agriset-761' showed significant increases in the concentrations of acetone, hexanal, 2+3 methylbutanol, and a decrease in 2-isobutylthiazole, whereas, `CPT-5' fruits showed significant increases in hexanal, 2+3 methylbutanol, trans-2-heptenal, 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one, 2-isobutylthiazole, β-ionone, geranylacetone, and a decrease is ethanol concentration. In both cultivars, these significant differences in important aroma volatile compounds could be of enormous relevance in the perception of off-flavor/off-odors.

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Rachel B. Elkins, Janet D. Turner, Steve Castagnoli, Clark F. Seavert, Elizabeth J. Mitcham, William V. Biasi, and Ann Colonna

Assessing consumer acceptance is an important aspect of cultivar evaluation. Since 2002, about 2700 consumers have participated in pear preference surveys. Surveys were conducted on multiple dates and at multiple venues from 2002 to 2005 in Oregon and northern California. Survey participants were asked to indicate their preference for pears based on size, appearance, taste, and overall preference. They were also asked to indicate what attributes they liked or disliked about their favorite and least favorite varieties and to indicate their level of purchase intent. Each survey consisted of four to six cultivars, including at least one standard commercial comparison; i.e., Bartlett, Bosc, or Anjou. Data was analyzed (RCBD; Friedman Analysis of Rank or ANOVA/Tukey's HSD) at the OSU Food Innovation Center Experiment Station using Compusense® five v.4.6 software (Guelph, Ont., Canada). Results indicated several alternative possibilities for both summer and winter sales. Among the most preferred cultivars (variable between states) were Anjou (commercial standard winter pear), Bartlett (commercial standard summer pear and most-consumed cultivar), Blake's Pride, Cinnamon, Concorde, and 71655-014. Other major findings were preference for large pears for adults and small for children, overall liking based on sweetness and flavor rather than skin color, and general lack of knowledge of many commercial pear cultivars. Sensory evaluation surveys will be continued in 2006 in California, with focus on differential harvest times for selected preferred cultivars. Consumer preference data is being combined with production and postharvest quality data in order to provide the pear industry a comprehensive data set on potential alternative cultivars.

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Renee T. Threlfall, John R. Clark, Aubrey N. Dunteman, and Margaret L. Worthington

hydroxide (NaOH) to an endpoint of pH 8.2; results were expressed as g/L citric acid. Soluble solids/titratable acidity ratio was calculated. Consumer sensory analysis The consumer sensory evaluation was done at the UA System Sensory Science Center

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Dru N. Montri, Kathleen M. Kelley, and Elsa S. Sánchez

endorsement of the products named or criticism of similar ones not named. We thank Ruth Hollender and Julie Peterson, Sensory Evaluation Laboratory, Department of Food Science, Pennsylvania State University, for their assistance with the sensory evaluation.