2012 Annual Report
Mandarin hybrids close to release were evaluated for a second year to identify optimum maturity. Commercial cultivars were included in the study for reference. Fruit were evaluated by sensory evaluation (descriptive analysis), sugars, acids and volatile content. There was a sharp contrast in weather pattern between the two seasons, with 2011-2012 being unusually warm compared to 2010-2011. As a result, fruit in 2011-2012 were much sweeter, less sour, and harvest maturity was earlier by one month for most hybrids. The quality evaluation of new mandarin hybrids across their potential seasons of maturity helps growers determine optimum harvest.
A commercial tangerine hybrid, ‘Fallglo’, and its seedless mutant, ‘US Early Pride’ were compared over their harvest season in consumer taste panels. There was no difference between the two varieties for preference. Panelists who preferred ‘Fallglo’ indicated that they perceived more tangerine flavor and sweetness in that hybrid compared to ‘US Early Pride’, and panelists who preferred ‘US Early Pride’ indicated that it was because it had less seeds and it was juicier than ‘Fallglo’. Volatile compounds were analyzed in both cultivars by gas chromatography and olfactometry, and some odorous compounds were detected by the human subjects that were not detected by the instrument. New compounds were reported in tangerines: methional and 1-nonen-3-one.