QUALITY OF ORGANIC COMPARED TO CONVENTIONALLY GROWN STRAWBERRIES AT THE RETAIL LEVEL
Growing environmental awareness in combination with concerns about safer produce has led people to question modern agricultural practices. This is reflected in an increasing demand for organic produce which is perceived as less damaging to the environment and to be healthier than that which is conventionally grown. During the Florida and California strawberry seasons, organic and conventionally grown fruit was purchased from three different retail stores in Tampa, Florida, USA, and fruit was evaluated subjectively for sensory quality, instrumental color (L*a*b*), texture, acidity, soluble solids content (SSC), total phenolics, and ascorbic acid contents. The objective of this retail study was to evaluate and compare the quality of organic and conventionally grown strawberries as they reach the consumer, regardless of the cultivar, maturity at harvest, and any preharvest or postharvest treatments that the fruit might have been exposed to before reaching the market. The differences in the sensory quality of organic compared to conventionally grown strawberries from California were less significant than those of fruit grown in Florida. Florida organic strawberries appeared slightly fresher and firmer, and had better flavor than conventionally grown fruit, but there was no significant difference in the sensory quality of California-grown fruit, regardless of the cultivation method. Differences in L* and hue angle were variable, whereas chroma values were systematically lower in organic compared to conventionally grown strawberries. No significant differences were found in the texture of organic compared to conventionally grown fruit. Overall, sensory quality and texture of organic strawberry purchased from three different retail stores was not significantly different from that of conventionally grown fruit; however organic fruit grown either in Florida or in California tended to have higher acidity, and higher total phenolics and ascorbic acid contents than conventionally grown fruit.
Nunes , M.C.N. and Delgado, A. (2014). QUALITY OF ORGANIC COMPARED TO CONVENTIONALLY GROWN STRAWBERRIES AT THE RETAIL LEVEL. Acta Hortic. 1049, 723-730
appearance, texture, composition, Florida, California