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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1120: XXIX International Horticultural Congress on Horticulture: Sustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes (IHC2014): International Symposia on Postharvest Knowledge for the Future and Consumer and Sensory Driven Improvements to Fruits and Nuts

Drivers of consumer preference for apple eating quality and appearance among South African consumers of different ethnic and age groups

Authors:   I.A. Idun, M. Muller, K.I. Theron, T. Nęs, M. van der Rijst, W.J. Steyn
Keywords:   Malus × domestica Borkh., consumer preference, eating quality, appearance
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1120.73
South African consumers' preference for apple eating quality and appearance were investigated in this study. Black, white and Indian consumers of two age groups (18-25 or 26+) participated in consumer studies conducted in Pretoria, Gauteng province (GP) and Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal province (KZN). Nine apple cultivars were used to attain a wide variation in flavour and appearance parameters. Descriptive sensory analysis was carried out using a trained panel and consumer preference for eating quality and appearance was assessed on a 9-point hedonic scale. Principal component analysis was used to project the outcome of descriptive sensory analysis onto consumers' preference dimension. Region, race and age group interacted for consumer preference of eating quality while region, race and gender interacted for consumer preference of appearance. Black consumers from both GP and KZN and from both age groups as well as white and Indian consumers from the older age group (26+) had a high preference for sweet taste. White and Indian consumers from the young age group (18-25) preferred cultivars that were closely associated with positive textural attributes. Except for black female consumers from GP, black consumers generally preferred the appearance of 'Golden Delicious'. White and Indian consumers preferred the appearance of green 'Granny Smith'. These appearance preferences seem to relate to taste preferences.

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