Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 2007
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The analytical and sensory quality characteristics of twelve blueberry cultivars were evaluated to determine what fruit quality characteristics consumers consider important and to evaluate if sensory quality characteristics were correlated to any analytical quality characteristics. Cultivars evaluated in order of early to late season were Chanticleer, Weymouth, Hannah’s Choice, Duke, Bluecrop, Coville, Berkeley, Bluegold, Elliott, Lateblue, Coastal and Montgomery. Cultivars varied in sensory intensity and acceptability scores. Hannah’s Choice and Coville scored as high as or higher than the other cultivars in sensory scores for intensity of blue color, juiciness, sweetness and blueberry-like flavor and for acceptability of appearance, color, fruit size, sweet/tart balance, flavor and overall eating quality. In contrast, rabbiteye cultivars, Coastal and Montgomery, and highbush cultivars, Elliott and Weymouth, scored as low as or lower than the other highbush cultivars in sensory scores for intensity of bursting energy, skin toughness, texture during eating, juiciness, and blueberry-like flavor and for acceptability of appearance, color, fruit size, flavor and overall eating quality. Analytical quality characteristics of surface color, size, compression firmness, soluble solids content (SSC), pH, titratable acidity (TA), SSC/TA ratio, and aromatic volatile concentration also varied among cultivars, but the analytical quality characteristics were not well correlated (r2 < 0.4) with any sensory quality characteristic. Consumer scores for overall eating quality of blueberry fruit are correlated (r2 > 0.4) with sensory scores for acceptability and intensity of flavor followed by juiciness intensity, appearance acceptability, bursting energy intensity and sweetness intensity.