Sensory evaluation of carrot germplasm

L.F. D'Antuono, S. Elementi, R. Neri
Although the relevance of quality traits is often stressed, sensory analysis has been seldom applied to germplasm evaluation. In this work, 20 carrot samples (8 commercial cultivars and hybrids and 12 germplasm accessions) were subject to sensory evaluation. A group of 69 not specifically trained assessors rated external and overall gustative acceptance on a 10 cm linear scale and, contextually, their perception of 3 visual traits (external colour, cross sectional internal colour and shape) and 5 gustative traits (crispness, hardness, fibrousness, sweetness and aroma). The accessions significantly differed for all traits. The main determinants of gustative acceptance were sweetness and crispness, the latter with a relevant indirect effect via its correlation to sweetness. A positive relation with sweetness was also the main indirect determinant of the association of aroma with gustative acceptance. All the three visual traits had a positive relation to external acceptance, with a prevailing direct effect. Principal component analysis indicated a factor related to external traits as explaining the highest variance proportion, followed by a factor related to sweetness, aroma and internal acceptance and, finally, a factor related to textural traits. The germplasm accessions can be classified as a function of their position in the PC space. Overall, the panellists seemed to be rather conservative, expressing lower acceptance for types strongly deviating from usual colour and shape, although some long conical rooted accessions were positively visually rated.
D'Antuono, L.F., Elementi, S. and Neri, R. (2017). Sensory evaluation of carrot germplasm. Acta Hortic. 1153, 117-124
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1153.17
carrot, germplasm, quality, sensory analysis, shape, colour, texture

Acta Horticulturae