Is multivarietal brand a viable solution to valorize and extend marketing of strawberries?

T. Mendes da Silva, C. Peano, N.R. Giuggioli
Strawberry commercial season is short due to perishable nature of fruit, leaving the sector as alternative the use of different cultivars in a brand, which could lead to inconsistent sensorial quality. Short-day (SD) cultivars might also come from different territories due to photoperiod and temperature dependency, increasing risk of inhomogeneity. Day-neutral (DN) cultivars, instead, are still scarce in the Italian context. As a result, few successful single-cultivar brands are present in the market (e.g., Candonga®), with a limited commercial season. This work is aimed to assess the impact of a multi-varietal brand on sensorial quality, in two different contexts: a short-term season composed by two SD cultivars from southern Italy and a long-term season with one SD and one DN cultivar, respectively from southern and northern Italy. Physicochemical, colourimetric and sensorial analyses were carried out and the texture analyzer assessment was performed to investigate the alleged higher firmness values of the DN cultivar. The ANOVA mixed model with assessors as random factors was applied to sensorial data to assess differences among samples and models derived using compound symmetry and autoregressive covariance matrix were compared in order to highlight if correlations through measurements change over time, thus, over cultivars. The multiple factor analysis and the partial least square model were applied to identify the best quality indicators. Both univariate and multivariate analyses highlighted differences on quality parameters in the second season, where the autoregressive covariance matrix fitted the best model compared to the default one. However, inhomogeneity of sensorial parameters did not affect the perceived overall quality. Aroma and brix appeared to be the best quality indicators for both seasons.
Mendes da Silva, T., Peano, C. and Giuggioli, N.R. (2021). Is multivarietal brand a viable solution to valorize and extend marketing of strawberries?. Acta Hortic. 1309, 849-856
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1309.121
sensory, texture analyzer, strawberry, fruit, brand, quality, MFA model

Acta Horticulturae