EFFECTS OF SHELF-LIFE IN TEXTURE AND CONSUMER PREFERENCE OF 'ROCHA' PEAR
Aiming to access the relation between texture and consumer preference, quality characteristics of fruits (total soluble solids, firmness and colour) from 2 orchards were evaluated immediately after a shelf-life period of 2, 4, 6 and 8 days at 20°C and subjected to sensory texture evaluation by trained assessors. Three classes of texture: firm = fruits with 2 days of shelf life and firmness >44.1 N, medium = fruits with 4 days of shelf life and firmness between 44.1 to 19.6 N and soft = fruits with 6 days of shelf life and firmness <19.6 N were found. To validate these results a consumers sensory test was done, consumers were able to distinguish the 3 classes of texture and the preference level was related to texture. Overall, the preferred texture class was medium, and about half like soft pears and half like firm pears. Despite the significant linear regression (P<0.001) between colour and firmness, R2 was very low (=0.153) which means that pears of a texture class have different values of hue (h) and colour can only be used to distinguish between very hard and very soft pears. In addition, 310 personal interviews were carried out aiming to ascertain buying habits and consumption of Rocha pear, resulting that 52% preferred more greens and crunchy pears and 48% preferred more mature and soft pears, in agreement with the sensory tests results. Two degrees of ripening might differentiate the product and could be beneficial for the marketing of this fruit, in order to meet consumer demands.
Oliveira, C.M., Mota, M., Alpalhão, A. and Garcia, A. (2015). EFFECTS OF SHELF-LIFE IN TEXTURE AND CONSUMER PREFERENCE OF 'ROCHA' PEAR. Acta Hortic. 1094, 509-514
colour variation, firmness, Pyrus communis, ripening, sensory quality of fruit