Consumer acceptance and primary drivers of liking for small fruits
- Authors: Ingrassia, M.; Bacarella, S.; Altamore, L.; Sortino, G.; Chironi, S.
- Publication year: 2018
- Type: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
- Key words: Cold storage; Focus group; Fruit quality; Sensory test; Spearman coefficient; Horticulture
- OA Link: http://hdl.handle.net/10447/289740
Small fruit grow naturally in northern Italy, but also in the Sicilian region (southern Italy) there are some areas with the essential climatic conditions for the development of this crop. Nevertheless, according to official statistics, the quantities of fresh small fruits placed on the Italian market are lower than in other European countries. The objective of this study was to assess consumer acceptance for sensory attributes and other intrinsic and extrinsic quality parameters of fresh small fruit, in order to know the primary drivers of liking and have a first understanding of reasons for the poor domestic consumption. Six focus groups with sensory test were carried out to assess consumers’ preferences on four types of small fruits stored for 3 and 5 days at low temperature (5±1°C, 90±3% relative humidity RH). Consumers’ evaluations were also compared with those of a panel of experts for the two periods of storage. Consumers’ acceptance of sensory attributes after 3 days of storage was very good and after 5 days was good. Visual appearance and taste were the descriptors with highest liking both for consumers and experts. Results showed a good concordance between FG consumers’ evaluations and panellists’ ones, for all descriptors of berries. These results may be useful for future research to focus on effective actions in order to enhance berries commercialization.