Changes of Acceptability of ‘Jonagold’ and ‘Gala’ Apples During Storage in Normal Atmosphere
Proper development of storage marketing strategy for apples for fresh fruit market requires not only detailed information on dynamics of changes of objective quality indices during storage but also on their impact on consumer acceptability. The experiment was aimed at determination of ‘Jonagold’ and ‘Gala’ apple quality in relation to length of cold storage.
Apples were harvested at optimal stage of ripeness and their quality was estimated monthly starting from the day when fruit were picked up to 6 months of storage. Tests were made after cold storage at 0°C and after 7 days shelf-life at 18°C. Beside measurement of the most important parameters such as firmness, soluble solids, and acidity the studies covered measurements of changes of weight of single fruit, instrumental measurement of juiciness and sensory acceptability of texture and flavour made concurrently on laboratory scale and in semi-consumer tests (in a group of 40 respondents).
The largest decreases of firmness and juiciness were observed in the first and second month of storage. Changes of acidity and weight losses were proportional to storage period, while soluble solids changes were rather small and the direction depended on storage length. It was proved that the highest score for sensory acceptability received apples stored in cold room for one month. Slightly lower score obtained fruits tested directly after picking and after 2 months of storage. With extension of storage of fruit in the cold room sensory acceptability of both cultivars decreased when judged either by expert panel or by consumers.
According to the present fruit growers custom fruits of both cultivars after storage in normal atmosphere would be directed to retailers not earlier that at the end of December or beginning of January (i.e. after at least 3 months of storage), when their quality evidently decreases, and average consumer purchasing fruits in a store or at local market has no chance to esteem potential values of such popular cultivars as ‘Gala’ and ‘Jonagold’.