Eur.J.Hortic.Sci. 80 (1) 3-10 | DOI: 10.17660/eJHS.2015/80.1.1|
ISSN 1611-4426 print and 1611-4434 online | © ISHS 2015 | European Journal of Horticultural Science | Original article
Consumer responses to fruit quality of 'Jonagold' apples treated with postharvest application of 1-methylcycloprope (1-MCP) under air and controlled atmosphere storage conditions
J.N. Wünsche and C.S. Heyn
University of Hohenheim, Institute of Crop Sciences, Section Crop Physiology of Specialty Crops, Stuttgart, Germany
1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) to retain quality of
‘Jonagold’ apples of different harvest maturities and
stored in air and controlled atmosphere conditions
were investigated in three consecutive seasons in
Southwest Germany. This cultivar is widely planted
and most popular in this fruit-growing region.
Fruit samples were removed from storage at bi- or
three-monthly intervals during maximal 9 months
storage periods. Thereafter, fruit were frequently
evaluated over up to 10 days at 20°C to link instrumental
data of ex-store fruit quality to sensory descriptions
from consumer preference surveys. Fruit
quality declined with storage duration; however, the
degree of quality loss was much less severe under
all storage conditions when fruit was treated with
1-MCP. Ethylene-dependent ripening processes such
as softening, yellowing of the background colour
and loss of titratable acidity were significantly more
reduced in 1-MCP-treated ‘Jonagold’ apples than in
untreated controls, concomitantly with lower rates
of fruit respiration and fruit ethylene production.
Data showed a good agreement between instrumental
measurements and consumer scores for all
evaluated fruit quality parameters. We conclude
that flesh firmness and titratable acidity were the
most important drivers of consumer preference.
Interestingly, consumers, regardless of age and gender,
preferred 1-MCP-treated fruit held in ultra-low
oxygen storage. Although sensory evaluation studies
are time-consuming and might have some flaws
when attempting to generate representative results
from consumer taste panels, they are a useful tool
to assess product quality and consumer preference.
instrumental fruit quality measurements, consumer
preference, sensory evaluation
Significance of this study
What is already known on this subject?
What are the new findings?
It was previously shown that postharvest application
of 1-MCP results in improved retention of fruit
quality attributes of apple during storage and subsequent
shelf-life period by delaying fruit softening,
loss of titratable acidity and background colour
changes. However, consumer perception of 1-MCPtreated
apples is largely unknown.
What is the expected impact on horticulture?
There was a good agreement between sensory
output and instrumental data for the varying fruit
quality attributes. Most consumers participating in
the survey in Southwest Germany preferred 1-MCPtreated
‘Jonagold’ apples stored in ULO, regardless of
gender and age.
Consumer tests are important to realize consumers’
perception on the development of new products
or technologies and to guarantee knowledge-based
decision-making processes by industry wide uptake
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Received: 26 September 2014 | Accepted: 12 December 2014 | Published: 26 February 2015 | Available online: 26 February 2015