The impact of maturity, storage temperature an storage duration on sensory quality and consumer satisfaction of 'Big Top®' nectarines
Cantín, Celia M.
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This research focuses on the effect of maturity estage and storage conditions on quality and consumer satisfaction of ‘BigTop®’ nectarines. Atharvesttime, fruit were graded in three categories according to the IAD index (indexof absorbance difference=A670−A720) based on Vis spectroscopy. Physicochemicalparameters(soluble solids concentration, titratable acidity and flesh firmness) were measured for the three maturity categories at harvest time and after up to 49 days of storage at 20, 10, 4 or −1C. Consumer satisfaction and sensory attributes were also measured on fruit from all three categories at harvest time, as well as on fruit from the intermediate maturity class after storage at the different tested temperatures for up to 49 days. At harvest time, consumer’s satisfaction increased significantly with maturity stage at harvest, mainly due to an upper sweetness and flavour perception and higher SSC value detected in the most mature class. For short storage periods, ‘Big Top ®’nectarines kept at 20◦C received the highest scores for peach flavour intensity and overall acceptance. For longer storage periods, no significant differences among temperatures were observed on sensory quality or consumer satisfaction, except for fruit stored for the longest period (7 weeks), for which higher consumer acceptance was found for fruit stored at −1 ◦C than at 4◦C.Results also suggested that higher acceptance scores were associated mainly to more intense perception of flavour.