BACKGROUND: Texture is important in the preferences of apple consumers. Of the pre-harvest factors affecting fruit quality and especially texture, altitude and subsequent climatic conditions are crucial, determining differences in the physiological mechanisms of fruit growth, ripening stage and chemical composition, as demonstrated by several studies. This work applies a detailed sensory-instrumental protocol developed in a previous paper to investigate the impact of altitude, time of harvest and their cross-effect on sensory characteristics of apple, with a focus on texture. RESULTS: Sensory differences were found in relation to altitude, although the profile results were mainly affected by the time of harvest. Fruit from lower altitude was described as juicier, crunchier and sweeter than samples from higher altitude, which were floury, sourer and more astringent. Texture performance, soluble solids content and titratable acidity corroborated this sensory description. Moreover, anatomical data showed that fruit from lower altitude had a larger volume, a higher number of cells and a higher percentage of intercellular spaces. CONCLUSION: We demonstrated that differences between fruit from various altitudes can be perceived through human senses, and that the proposed sensory–instrumental tool can be used to describe such differences. This study brings more understanding about the impact of altitude and time of harvest on apple sensory properties. This work could support apple producers, from semi-mountainous regions (Alps, Tyrol, etc.), in advertising and valorising their products with their specific characteristics in a more efficient manner. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

Application of a sensory-instrumental tool to study apple texture characteristics shaped by altitude and time of harvest

Corollaro, Maria Laura;Manfrini, Luigi;Endrizzi, Isabella;Corelli Grappadelli, Luca;
2018

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Texture is important in the preferences of apple consumers. Of the pre-harvest factors affecting fruit quality and especially texture, altitude and subsequent climatic conditions are crucial, determining differences in the physiological mechanisms of fruit growth, ripening stage and chemical composition, as demonstrated by several studies. This work applies a detailed sensory-instrumental protocol developed in a previous paper to investigate the impact of altitude, time of harvest and their cross-effect on sensory characteristics of apple, with a focus on texture. RESULTS: Sensory differences were found in relation to altitude, although the profile results were mainly affected by the time of harvest. Fruit from lower altitude was described as juicier, crunchier and sweeter than samples from higher altitude, which were floury, sourer and more astringent. Texture performance, soluble solids content and titratable acidity corroborated this sensory description. Moreover, anatomical data showed that fruit from lower altitude had a larger volume, a higher number of cells and a higher percentage of intercellular spaces. CONCLUSION: We demonstrated that differences between fruit from various altitudes can be perceived through human senses, and that the proposed sensory–instrumental tool can be used to describe such differences. This study brings more understanding about the impact of altitude and time of harvest on apple sensory properties. This work could support apple producers, from semi-mountainous regions (Alps, Tyrol, etc.), in advertising and valorising their products with their specific characteristics in a more efficient manner. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.
Charles, Mathilde; Corollaro, Maria Laura; Manfrini, Luigi; Endrizzi, Isabella; Aprea, Eugenio; Zanella, Angelo; Corelli Grappadelli, Luca; Gasperi, Flavia*
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