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MEALINESS OF FRUITS-CONSUMER PERCEPTION AND MEANS FOR DETECTION

Objective



Because of the health benefits, much effort nowadays is directed towards increasing the consumption of fruit. The attractiveness of fruit with respect to the purchasing behaviour of consumers is affected by visual appearance, but the expected internal quality is of equal importance. Mealiness is such an important internal quality parameter, which is characterised by a texture deterioration of the fruit during inappropriate storage resulting in soft, dry and mealy fruit. The phenomenon is of particular significance for fruit such as apples, peaches, nectarines and tomatoes which are characteristically juicy when fresh. It is estimated that 30 % of the apples in the Northern European countries are affected by mealiness to some degree. Because of the considerable economic loss and consumer aversion associated with mealy fruit, there is need for better understanding and control of the mealiness phenomenon. The overall objective of this project is to enhance the consumer's quality of fresh fruit by prevention or elimination of mealy products through respectively improved treatment, and the use of instrumental, objective measurement and monitoring techniques.

To this end, the following sub-objectives will be assessed in the proposed
project :

- development of a sensorial description of mealiness by means of profile
descriptive techniques;
- establishment of a relationship between the sensorial perception of
mealiness, selected physical properties of the fruit and the availability of
chemical taste components;
- assessment of the factors influencing the development and intensity of
mealiness;
- establishment of the physical and histological phenomena underlying the
development of mealiness;
- the development of instrumental monitoring techniques for mealiness for use
in optimal storage management;
- the assessment of consumer perception of mealiness and its geographical
dependency, its influence on the consumer acceptability of the fruit, and the
effects of influencing consumers expectations towards a reduced incidence
of mealiness in fruit.

The above list of topics in conjunction with the products under study require a
participation from a large geographical areas in a multidisciplinary research consortium.

Coordinator

KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN
Address
Kardinaal Mercierlaan, 92
3001 Heverlee
Belgium

Participants (5)

ATO - DLO - AGROTECHNOLOGICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE
Netherlands
Address
Bornsesteeg, 59 - P.o. Box 17
6700 AA Wageningen
BBSRC Institute of Food Research
United Kingdom
Address
Reading Laboratory Earley Gate Whiteknights Road
RG6 6BZ Reading
BRAN + LUEBBE G.M.B.H.
Germany
Address
Werkstr., 4
22844 Norderstedt
C.S.I.C.
Spain
Address
Poligono La Coma S/n
46010 Valencia
UNIVERSIDAD POLITECNICA DE MADRID
Spain
Address
Avda. Complutense
28040 Madrid