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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1133: XI International Rubus and Ribes Symposium

Commercial attributes of fresh blackberries identified by sensory panels

Authors:   R.T. Threlfall, O.S. Hines, J.R. Clark
Keywords:   Rubus, evaluation, descriptive, consumer, fruit, aromatics, appearance, taste
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1133.61
Although fresh blackberries (Rubus subgenus Rubus) are grown worldwide for commercial markets, there is little information on commercial sensory attributes. Sensory analysis was performed on fresh blackberries harvested from the University of Arkansas Fruit Research Station, Clarksville. A trained descriptive sensory panel (n=9) and a consumer sensory panel (n=74) evaluated sensory attributes of 11 fresh blackberry genotypes including five cultivars ('Natchez', 'Osage', 'Ouachita', 'Prime-Ark 45' and 'Prime-Ark Traveler') and six selections. The descriptive panel developed a lexicon of sensory terms for fresh blackberry attributes including appearance (n=8), basic tastes (n=3), feeling factors (n=2), aromatics (n=9) and texture (n=7) and evaluated those attributes using a 15-point scale (0=less and 15=more of the attribute). The consumer panel evaluated appearance, size, shape, color, overall impression, overall flavor and firmness of fresh blackberries on a 9-point verbal hedonic scale (1=extremely dislike; 9=like extremely). Although descriptive panelists could differentiate intensity of overall aromatics (7.6-8.2) and sourness (3.8-5.4) on a 15-point scale among the genotypes, they found no difference in sweetness (3.6-4.4). The descriptive panel identified 'Natchez' as the largest berry and A-2453 as the smallest, most firm and glossiest. Consumer panelists liked the shape (6.9-7.5) and firmness (6.8-7.3) of the genotypes, but found no differences among genotypes on a 9-point scale. Berry appearance, size, and color were liked by the consumer panel with scores from 6.6-7.9. 'Prime-Ark 45' and 'Prime-Ark Traveler' had the highest liking scores for appearance and size, while A-2416 had the lowest for appearance, size and color. Consumers indicated that A-2453 had the highest liking for berry color. In terms of consumer overall impression and overall flavor, A-2491 and 'Prime-Ark Traveler' had the highest liking values, while A-2434 had the lowest. Sensory analysis of fresh fruit is an important tool that can be used to determine commercial potential for selections and cultivars.

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