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European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 243, Issue 11, pp 1917–1931 | Cite as

Nashi or Williams pear fruits? Use of volatile organic compounds, physicochemical parameters, and sensory evaluation to understand the consumer’s preference

  • Cosimo Taiti
  • Elettra MaroneEmail author
  • Matteo Lanza
  • Elisa Azzarello
  • Elisa Masi
  • Camilla Pandolfi
  • Edgardo Giordani
  • Stefano Mancuso
Original Paper

Abstract

Ripen “ready-to-eat” fruits of “Williams” and of two Nashi cultivars (“Hosui” and “Ya Li”), present contemporarily on the stores, were evaluated by physicochemical parameters (shape, skin color, firmness, total soluble solids, titratable acidity), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emission, measured with a proton transfer reaction-time of flight-mass spectrometer (PTR–ToF–MS), either on whole and cube fruits, and sensory evaluation (panel test and consumer’s liking). The data were analyzed by ANOVA, LSD test, hierarchical clustering, PLS-DA, and CCOA. The highest differences for the physicochemical parameters were observed between Williams and Nashi, as Williams differentiated for sugar content and Hosui for firmness. By VOCs spectral analyses, it was observed that whole and cube “Williams” fruits had the highest number and amount of compounds, followed by “Ya Li;” “Hosui” was characterized by a few signals with low intensities. Fruits of each cultivar showed specific VOCs that could be used as markers for discrimination purposes. In “Williams” pears, the presence and amount of defined masses resulted linked to fruitiness and aroma perceived by the consumer. The higher sugar content and the typical pear aroma perceived by the panelists, emitted by “Williams,” could have influenced the consumer’s liking. The tasters appreciated “Hosui” for firmness, and “Ya Li” for visual, even if they resulted lower in sugar and flavor intensity. In the opinion of the respondents to the consumer test, “Williams” resulted the most appreciated both for the average scores of the acceptability and as percentage of responses at a level >5 of a nine-point hedonic scale.

Keywords

Consumer acceptance Fruit sensory attributes Instrumental analysis Pear aroma PLS-DA PTR–ToF–MS 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by funds of the Regione Toscana ‘‘PRAF 2012-2015 MISURA 1.2 e)’’ program (call “Agrifood”, Project VOLATOSCA).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

We confirm that we do not have any conflict of interest.

Human/animal rights

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.

Informed consent

This article does not requires any informed consent.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agrifood Production and Environmental SciencesUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.Faculty of Biosciences and Technologies for Agriculture Food and EnvironmentUniversity of TeramoTeramoItaly
  3. 3.IONICON Analytik GmbHInnsbruckAustria

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