Submitted to: Postharvest Biology and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/26/2003
Publication Date: 6/23/2004
Citation: Abbott, J.A., Saftner, R.A., Gross, K.C., Vinyard, B.T., Janick, J. 2004. Consumer evaluation and quality measurement of fresh-cut slices of 'fuji', 'golden delicious', 'goldrush', and 'granny smith' apples. Postharvest Biology and Technology. v. 33(2). p. 127-140. Interpretive Summary: Fresh-cut apple slices are desired as a convenient snack for general consumers and as a component in school lunch programs. The fruit quality characteristics needed for fresh-cut slices differ from those required for sales of intact apples and even slow browning varieties will brown during the three-week shelf life required for commercial fresh-cut products. Thus, variety selection must be evaluated in addition to development of preparation and storage methods. We evaluated consumer acceptance of several established varieties plus a new variety 'Gold Rush' and we examined the preservative ability of a commercial and a laboratory-developed preservative treatment. Both preservative treatments maintained cut surface color values similar to values at the time of cutting and maintained acceptable flavor, but slices treated with the commercial product were rated very slightly better for texture than those receiving the in-house treatment. Acceptability of flavor and texture of 'GoldRush' and of 'Fuji' was scored higher than that of 'Granny Smith' and 'Golden Delicious', despite small age and gender biases. No instrumental measurement was a satisfactory predictor of sensory acceptability scores. This information will contribute to development of fresh-cut apple slices as a new value-added product for the apple industry and a convenient fresh fruit product for consumers.
Technical Abstract: We compared the eating quality of a new apple cultivar, 'GoldRush', with 'Golden Delicious' (one of its parents), 'Fuji', and 'Granny Smith' (the latter two often used for fresh-cut apple slices). We also compared a commercial with an in-house preservative treatment, NatureSeal for Apples and PQSL, respectively. Intact apples that had been stored for about 6 months were sanitized, cut into slices, stored, and then served to consumers. Both NatureSeal and PQSL treatments maintained cut surface color values similar to values at the time of cutting. NatureSeal-treated slices were rated slightly better for texture than those receiving the PQSL treatment, but there was no significant difference in acceptability of appearance or flavor. Acceptability of the texture of 'GoldRush', and of 'Fuji' when included, was scored higher than that of 'Granny Smith' and 'Golden Delicious'. Flavor of 'GoldRush' was equally or more acceptable than 'Fuji' and 'Granny Smith' in different tests and 'Golden Delicious' scored lowest. There were small age biases, with older women liking 'GoldRush' less and older men liking 'Granny Smith' less than other age groups and cultivars. No instrumental measurement was a satisfactory predictor of sensory acceptability scores. 'GoldRush' proved to be a promising new cultivar for fresh-cut apple slices and the in-house preservative solution maintained the quality of apple slices similar to that of a commercial preservative treatment.