Determinants of sensory acceptability in grapefruit

David Obenland, Salvatore Campisi-Pinto, Mary Lu Arpaia

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13 Scopus citations


Increasing consumer demands regarding fruit quality coupled with decreasing consumption of grapefruit in the United States prompted a reassessment of the factors that influence consumer acceptability in grapefruit in this study using more thorough methods of sensory evaluation and fruit sampling for analytical characteristics than had been previously employed. Over a 9 month period commercially-packed grapefruit were obtained on seven different harvest dates during the commercial season from either California, Texas, or Florida, sometimes obtaining fruit from multiple states at the same time. The fruit were evaluated by the panelists for overall likeability, grapefruit flavor intensity, juiciness, sweetness, tartness and bitterness. The panelists were also asked questions regarding purchase intent. From the same grapefruit halves that were tasted juice was obtained that was used to assay for soluble solids (SSC) and titratable acidity (TA). It was found that likeability was most strongly linked to sweetness, with bitterness having a lesser role. Accordingly, SSC, an estimate of the sugar concentration within the fruit, was positively related to likeability. It was not possible to determine whether SSC/TA, the traditionally-used measure for harvest maturity, or CAstd, a calculated value that subtracts acidity from SSC rather than dividing, was more effective in predicting good grapefruit flavor. Estimates of SSC/TA that associated with the range of hedonic scores indicated that current levels of SSC/TA used for maturity standards in the United States are likely set too low to consistently satisfy consumers. Purchase intent data gathered during sensory evaluation indicated that grapefruit should have a very high flavor quality (like moderately and above) to make more likely both an immediate and future purchase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-157
Number of pages7
JournalScientia Horticulturae
StatePublished - 27 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Acidity
  • Bitterness
  • Sensory
  • Soluble solids
  • Sweetness
  • Tartness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture

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