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Keywords:

  • consumer studies;
  • consumer profiling;
  • check-all-that-apply;
  • strawberries;
  • cultivar evaluation

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Traditionally, breeding research has been focused on increasing yield and fruit size, improving resistance to diseases, behaviour during transport and increasing postharvest shelf-life. However, consumers' liking is one of the biggest challenges for strawberry breeding programs. In this context, the aim of the present work was to evaluate the application of a check-all-that-apply (CATA) question to study consumers' perception of new strawberry cultivars.

RESULTS: Average liking scores were low for a highly appreciated product like strawberries, which could be explained considering unfavourable weather conditions prior to harvest. However, despite the small differences in overall liking scores, significant differences were found in the frequency in which 14 out of the 22 terms of the CATA question were used to describe samples. This suggests that the evaluated CATA question was able to detect differences in consumers' perception of the sensory characteristics of the evaluated cultivars. Moreover, a significant correlation was found between laboratory analyses (firmness, colour, soluble solids and acidity) and consumers' responses to the CATA question, which indicates their validity.

CONCLUSIONS: Considering results from the present study, the use of CATA questions could be a simple and interesting methodology to gain insight into consumers' perception of different fruit cultivars. Copyright © 2010 Society of Chemical Industry