This study was aimed at (1) finding out correlations between the instrumental and the sensory evaluation of color attributes (lightness, chroma and hue) in orange juices (OJs) and (2) evaluating consumer preferences on OJs color. Fresh hand squeezed OJs from five varieties of oranges were evaluated by image analysis (DigiEye System, VeriVide Ltd., Leicester, UK) and spectroradiometer. Eighteen trained panelists classified the OJs in increasing order of hue (yellowish–reddish), chroma (dull–vivid) and lightness (clear–dark) and scored the colorimetric parameters on a continuous scale of 10 cm, anchored at the ends. Hue and lightness were well correlated with the instrumental measurement but not chroma. One hundred eleven consumers were asked to order the five OJs according to their color liking. A significant preference (P < 0.05) was observed for the OJs with intermediate hue and lightness values (Valencia Midnight). Consumers' segmentation was also explored by cluster analyses.


For the first time, the correlations between instrumental color parameters obtained with DigiEye and the sensory evaluation of color in orange juice (OJ) has been explored. These correlations have demonstrated that trained panelists can effectively evaluate orange juice hue and lightness. Small chroma differences (<2.96 CIELAB units) are not well appreciated by a trained panel and therefore would not be relevant for the industry.

Consumers' preference for OJ color suggests that the preferred hues are the most orangish against other more reddish or yellowish ones. However, there are different segments of the population that show preference for more reddish hues.