Preference of Western Cape Province consumers for the eating quality and appearance of pears

Blanckenberg, Anelle (2015-12)

Thesis (MSc)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Our study aimed to determine the preference of Western Cape consumers for the eating quality and appearance of pears. Identifying the main sensory drivers of liking and consumer groupings with similar preferences may allow the pear industry to target specific markets and increase local consumption, which is stagnating at relatively low levels. Our first trial included 9 European pear cultivars (Pyrus communis L.) and one Asian pear cultivar (P. pyrifolia (Burm.) Nak.). These were chosen to represent a wide range of characteristics in order to identify the main sensory drivers of liking and possible consumer groupings. The majority of the 421 consumers, irrespective of gender, ethnicity and age, preferred pears with a distinct pear flavour, a sweet taste, a fair amount of malic acid, soft, juicy flesh with melt character, and a yellow or pale green peel colour with a typical pear shape. Astringency, sourness and grittiness negatively affected consumer preference. None of the pears were mealy and therefore we could not assess this characteristic. Two consumer clusters with similar preferences for eating quality and also for appearance were identified. In terms of eating quality, group 1 (55% of consumers) indicated a liking for a wide range of cultivars with poorly defined likes and dislikes. Group 2 (45% of consumers), in contrast, had a high liking for the eating quality of a small selection of cultivars while disliking the rest. Based on the preferences for appearance, group 1 (61% of consumers) again indicated a liking for a wide range of cultivars. Group 2 (39% of consumers) scored the most familiar cultivars, viz. Bon Chretien and Packham’s Triumph, very high and the other cultivars much lower than group 1. The objective of our second study was to investigate consumer preference for firm, juicy pears compared to soft pears with a melt character and to identify which of ‘Forelle’, ‘Packham’s Triumph’ and ‘Abate Fetel’ is best suited to either option. Pears were harvested within the commercial harvest window (H1) (flesh firmness at 6- 6.8kg, 6.4-7kg and 6-6.8kg respectively) and again a month later (H2). H1 and H2 pears were ripened at room temperature (20 ºC) for seven or one day, respectively. More consumers (67%) correlated positively with melt character, juiciness, overall pear flavour and sweet taste. These characteristics were the most prominent in H1 ‘Packham’s Triumph’ pears while H2 fruit were much firmer, but lower in preferred flavour characteristics. There is, however, also a market for crisp and juicy pears as 33% of the consumers showed a preference for these characteristics. ‘Forelle’ and ‘Abate Fetel’ could both be suitable for this market. ‘Forelle’ was preferred firm, probably because H1 soft pears were more astringent and sour as well as less juicy than H2. There was no difference in preference between H1 and H2 in ‘Abate Fetel’. In conclusion, most Western Cape consumers prefer European pears with the characteristic soft, melting texture, but a third of consumers seem to like firm, juicy pears. Hence, there is opportunity to develop a market for tree-ripe and Asian pears, but marketing will be needed to overcome appearance preferences.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Ons studie was daarop gemik om die voorkeur van Wes-Kaap verbruikers vir die eetkwaliteit en voorkoms van pere te bepaal. Die identifisering van die belangrikste sensoriese drywers van smaakvoorkeure en verbruikersgroepe met soortgelyke voorkeure kan die peerbedryf toelaat om spesifieke markte te teiken en plaaslike verbruik te verhoog, wat tans op relatief lae vlakke stagneer. Ons eerste proef het 9 Europese peer kultivars (Pyrus communis L.) en een Asiatiese peer kultivar (P. pyrifolia (Burm.) Nak.) ingesluit. Die kultivars is gekies om 'n wye verskeidenheid eienskappe te verteenwoordig sodat die belangrikste drywers van sensoriese smaakvoorkeure en moontlike verbruikersgroeperings geïdentifiseer kon word. Die meerderheid van die 421 verbruikers, ongeag geslag, etnisiteit en ouderdom, het pere met 'n duidelike peer geur, 'n soet smaak, 'n redelike hoeveelheid appelsuur, sagte en sappige tekstuur met n smeltkarakter, en 'n geel of liggroen skilkleur met 'n tipiese peer vorm verkies. Frankheid, hoë suurvlakke en grinterigheid het verbruikers voorkeur negatief beinvloed. Geen pere in ons studie was melerig nie en daarom kon ons nie hierdie eienskap evalueer nie. Twee verbruikersgroepe met soortgelyke voorkeure vir eetkwaliteit en peervoorkoms is geïdentifiseer. In terme van eetkwaliteit het groep 1 (55% van die verbruikers) voorkeur vir 'n wye verskeidenheid van kultivars aangedui. Groep 2 (45% van die verbruikers) daarteenoor het die eetkwaliteit van net 'n klein seleksie van kultivars verkies, terwyl hul ‘n afkeur getoon het vir die res. In terme van voorkoms, het groep 1 (61% van die verbruikers) weereens van 'n wye verskeidenheid kultivars gehou terwyl groep 2 (39% van die verbruikers) baie hoë punte aan die bekende Bon Chretien en Packham's Triumph kultivars toegeken het, maar die ander kultivars baie laer as groep 1 bepunt het. Die doel van ons tweede proef was om verbruikersvoorkeur vir ferm, sappige pere teenoor sagte pere met 'n smelt tekstuur te bepaal en tot watter mate 'Forelle', 'Packham's Triumph’ en ‘Abate Fetel' geskik is vir iedere opsie. Pere is tydens die kommersiële oesvenster (H1) (fermheid 6-6.8kg, 6.4-7kg en 6-6.8kg onderskeidelik) en weer 'n maand later (H2) geoes. H1 en H2 pere is teen kamertemperatuur (20 ºC) onderskeidelik vir sewe of een dag rypgemaak. Die meeste verbruikers (67%) se voorkeur korreleer positief met 'n smeltende tekstuur, sappigheid, peer geur en soet smaak. Hierdie eienskappe was die prominentste in H1 'Packham’s Triumph' pere terwyl H2 vrugte baie fermer, maar laer in voorkeur geureienskappe was. Daar is egter wel 'n mark vir ferm, sappige pere aangesien 33% van die verbruikers 'n voorkeur toon vir hierdie eienskappe. 'Forelle' en 'Abate Fetel' sou beide geskik kon wees vir hierdie mark. 'Forelle' is verkies as fermer peer, waarskynlik omdat H1 sagte pere meer frank, suurder sowel as minder sappig was. Daar was geen verskil in verbruikersvoorkeur tussen 'Abate Fetel’ se H1 en H2 pere nie. Ten slotte, die meeste verbruikers van die Wes-Kaap verkies die smaak van ryp Europese pere met hul karakteristieke sagte, smeltende tekstuur, maar 'n derde van die verbruikers hou wel van ferm, sappige pere. Daar is dus 'n geleentheid om die mark vir boomryp en Asiatiese pere te ontwikkel, maar bemarking sal nodig wees om die verbruikersvoorkeure vir voorkoms te oorkom.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98064
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