QUALITY MANAGEMENT IN THE APRICOT SUPPLY CHAIN
At present, the quality concept for apricot is mainly based only on external quality, like fruit size and absence of epidermis damages. However, Swiss retailers want to change the standards by introducing a quality check based on internal quality, such as sugar content. The aims of this project were to measure physico-chemical parameters along the apricot supply chain, to conduct consumer hedonic tests and to develop prediction models for consumer satisfaction. Over three years, physico-chemical parameters of the four main cultivars Orangered, Goldrich, Bergarouge and Bergeron were measured at harvest, after storage and after shelf-life. Different storage temperatures were applied. Consumer satisfaction was determined by using in-store consumer tests. The satisfaction index was defined as the median of the hedonic results. The physico-chemical parameters skin colour, fruit size, soluble solids concentration (SSC) and total acidity were stable along the chain. On the contrary, firmness and ripening index (DAI) decreased. The consumer tests showed that cultivars largely influenced the consumer satisfaction. The tasted apricots obtained medium to good hedonic scores. In order to define the physico-chemical parameters influencing the consumer satisfaction, a multiple-parameter model was built for every cultivar. The important parameters were different for each cultivar. The models allowed an accurate prediction of the consumer satisfaction. In conclusion, a new quality concept for all key players involved in the Swiss apricot supply chain is discussed.
Christen, D., Gabioud Rebeaud, S., Berthod, N., Besse, S. and Rossier, J. (2015). QUALITY MANAGEMENT IN THE APRICOT SUPPLY CHAIN. Acta Hortic. 1091, 297-302
Prunus armeniaca, postharvest quality, sensory, consumer satisfaction, prediction model