Study on consumer preferences for quality attributes of fig fruit after storage at room temperature

M. Ingrassia, P. Columba, S. Chironi, A. Allegra, G. Sortino
Fig (Ficus carica L.) is a nutritious fruit, rich in fiber, potassium, calcium, and iron. It is an important source of vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants and phenolic compounds that contribute to a healthy diet. In addition to Asian countries, fig is cultivated in the Mediterranean basin, where quality fruit has been produced since ancient times. Sicily in southern Italy traditionally cultivated ‘San Giovanni’ figs, but fig consumption has decreased. This cultivar is very interesting for its intrinsic qualities and its appreciation after storage by consumers could help its commercialization. The objective of this study is to know consumer preferences for quality attributes of ‘San Giovanni’ fig fruit after three and seven days of storage at 5°C. An in-store study was conducted on 200 consumers at supermarkets to assess fruit acceptance with a large-scale survey. Two expert focus groups also evaluated the fruit. The Spearman’s correlations between in-store evaluations and focus groups were analyzed. Sensory attributes of fig fruit were the first drivers for liking and consumption. The nutritional aspects are still rarely communicated to consumers and the short shelf-life is a primary reason for modest commercialization, during summer. Moreover, statistical correlations highlighted the effectiveness of storing this cultivar at 5°C to maintain good flavor, appearance, and chemical and physical parameters after seven days of storage.
Ingrassia, M., Columba, P., Chironi, S., Allegra, A. and Sortino, G. (2021). Study on consumer preferences for quality attributes of fig fruit after storage at room temperature. Acta Hortic. 1310, 135-140
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1310.21
in-store test, focus group, consumption behavior, physico-chemical parameters, fruit sensory test, 'San Giovanni'

Acta Horticulturae