Submitted to: Journal of American Pomological Society
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/3/2004
Publication Date: 1/1/2005
Citation: Miller, S.S., Hampson, C., Mcnew, R., Berkett, L., Brown, S., Clements, J., Crassweller, R., Garcia, E., Greene, D., Greene, G. 2005. Performance of apple cultivars in the 1995 ne-183 regional project planting: iii. fruit sensory characteristics. Journal of American Pomological Society. January 2005. Vol 59; pages 28-43. Interpretive Summary: The objective and systematic evaluation of apple cultivars across many planting sites in North America would provide valuable assistance to growers in selecting new cultivars to plant. In addition, consumers would be able to make informed purchasing choices if provided with fruit quality descriptions. A regional project was initiated in 1995 to evaluate apple cultivars/selections on Malling 9 rootstock planted at 19 sites across North America. The present paper describes the sensory characteristics for 20 of the test cultivars/selections grown at seven northeastern U.S. sites and one site in British Columbia, Canada. Information developed by this regional project will provide a valuable resource for cultivar selection for tree fruit extension, fruit consultants and fruit growers.
Technical Abstract: Appearance and internal sensory quality are important aspects to cultivar adaptation because they influence consumers' decisions in purchasing apples (Malus x domestica Borkh.) for fresh consumption. Our objective was to examine the sensory quality of twenty test cultivars grown at various locations in the eastern United States and in Summerland, British Columbia, Canada. From 1998 to 2000, fruit quality at harvest was assessed for attractiveness, desirability, flavor, crispness, juiciness, sweetness and acidity using defined rating scales. In Summerland, fruit quality was assessed after a period of air storage at 1 degreeC relative to commercial cultivars of similar harvest period, using slightly different rating scales. Cultivars differed in crispness, juiciness and sweetness, but ratings were generally consistent across locations. 'Creston', 'GoldRush', 'Honeycrisp', 'Braeburn' and 'Ginger Gold' rated high for crispness and 'Enterprise', 'Pristine' and NY 75414-1 rated low. 'Honeycrisp', 'Creston', 'Golden Supreme' and 'Shizuka' were rated highest for juiciness. 'Fuji' and 'Orin' rated highest and 'GoldRush' and 'Pristine' rated lowest for sweetness, whereas the opposite was true for acidity ratings. Other sensory attributes were affected by the interaction between location and cultivar. No single cultivar was superior at all sites. Some site-to-site differences in fruit attractiveness appeared to arise from climatic influences on skin finish or color development. Results support the need for widespread systematic testing of new apple cultivars.