C. Gittins, P. Calvo, M.J. Miranda, N. Barda
Argentina is one of the main pear exporters in the world, being recognized in the market for the quality of its emblematic cultivar ‘Williams Bon Chretien’, better known as ‘Bartlett’. Rapid changes occurring in consumer preference around the world necessitate studies focusing on the eating quality of pears as well as on the adaptability of other cultivars to the agro-ecological conditions of the Rio Negro and Neuquén upper valley, region where they are mostly cultivated. A descriptive sensory analysis panel was trained with the purpose of characterizing the different pear cultivars cultivated in the Germplasm Bank of the Experimental Station INTA Alto Valle as well as those commercially grown in the region. Eleven assessors were recruited and trained for a period of 3 months beginning with the recognition of basic tastes and aroma, familiarization with textural properties, and the usage of scales. They developed a specific vocabulary to describe the aroma, taste and texture of the pears. They also agreed on the qualitative standards that represented each one of the descriptive terms used. Attribute intensities were measured using a category scale from 0 (none) to 10 (extreme), and assessors defined the standards to anchor different points within each scale to be used as reference for themselves. A methodology for sample preparation and serving was established in such a way to include, as much as possible, the natural variability among the fruits. Color measurements by the Munsell Color System were conducted inside a light booth that simulates standard daylight for a more accurate assessment of color. The panel evaluated more than fifty cultivars every year during three consecutive seasons and showed a good capacity of discrimination over the different cultivars. Results revealed that sensory descriptive analysis is a valuable tool that allows communicating objectively findings in relation to genotype characteristics.
Gittins, C., Calvo, P., Miranda, M.J. and Barda, N. (2011). DEVELOPING A SENSORY DESCRIPTIVE PANEL FOR PEAR QUALITY EVALUATION. Acta Hortic. 909, 617-624
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2011.909.74
pear, sensory evaluation, descriptive sensory analysis, eating quality, germplasm bank, cultivars

Acta Horticulturae