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  Eur.J.Hortic.Sci. 81 (4) 189-196 | DOI: 10.17660/eJHS.2016/81.4.1
ISSN 1611-4426 print and 1611-4434 online | © ISHS 2016 | European Journal of Horticultural Science | Original article

The relationship between instrumental tests and sensory determinations of peach and nectarine texture

L. Contador, M. Dνaz, E. Hernαndez, P. Shinya and R. Infante
University of Chile, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Santiago, Chile

In this work, we evaluate the relationship between the rheological and the sensory texture of fresh peach and nectarine varieties. Two non-melting fleshed varieties (NMF), 'Andross' and ‘Carson’, and four melting fleshed nectarines (MF), 'Andes nec-1', 'Andes nec-2', 'Andes nec-3', and 'Venus', were harvested and kept in a ripening chamber for four days. A sensorytrained panel using the sensory texture descriptors 'hardness', 'crispness', 'crunchiness', 'melting', and 'juiciness' determined the sensory profile of each variety. Penetration tests, texture profile analysis (TPA), and mechanical acoustic analysis profile tests were performed using a TA-XT Plus texture meter. Principal component analysis defined the most influential rheological variables of each test. We also performed regression analysis by partial least squares (RPLS); as regressor variables we used the set of the rheological variables and the sensory attributes as dependent variables. The RPLS model explained 62% of the relationship between rheological and sensory variables. The strongest relationships were between 'hardness' and the TPA variables, and 'melting' and quantity of juice and the TPA variables. Finally, using a regression tree for the attributes 'hardness' and 'melting', we determined that the variable 'TPA hardness' was the most relevant to define both descriptors, thus classifying the varieties into two groups by obtaining a critical value for each attribute.

Keywords sensory evaluation, rheology, texture meter, hardness, Texture Profile Analysis

Significance of this study

What is already known on this subject?

  • In general terms, the change of texture of peaches and nectarines under normal ripening conditions has not been studied. From the rheological and sensory approaches, the maximum force, which is often determined by the fruit industry, measures solely the force just before the flesh collapses under the effect of the penetration of a 8-mm plunger. So the knowledge of the texture of peach and nectarine is limited to a single parameter, even if it is a quite complex phenotype.
What are the new findings?
  • In this research, new rheological tests have been validated, which are feasible to be employed for analyzing the texture of peaches and nectarines, and relate it with the sensory perception of texture.
What is the expected impact on horticulture?
  • These analysis procedures will improve the processes related with the phenotyping of the texture of peach and nectarine, and they will contribute to a better selection of new varieties and to attain a better characterization of the fresh fruit products in the production chain.

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Received: 8 April 2016 | Accepted: 5 July 2016 | Published: 29 August 2016 | Available online: 29 August 2016

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