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SENSORY AND HEALTH-RELATED FRUIT QUALITY OF ORGANIC APPLES. A COMPARATIVE FIELD STUDY OVER THREE YEARS USING CONVENTIONAL AND HOLISTIC METHODS TO ASSESS FRUIT QUALITY

Weibel, Franco P.; Treutter, Dieter; Häseli, Andi and Graf, Ursula (2004) SENSORY AND HEALTH-RELATED FRUIT QUALITY OF ORGANIC APPLES. A COMPARATIVE FIELD STUDY OVER THREE YEARS USING CONVENTIONAL AND HOLISTIC METHODS TO ASSESS FRUIT QUALITY. [GESCHMACKS- UND GESUNDHEITSRELEVANTE QUALITÄT VON ÖKOLOGISCH ANGEBAUTEN ÄPFELN: EINE 3JÄHRIGE FELDVERGLEICHSSTUDIE MIT STANDARD- UND GANZHEITLICHEN UNTERSUCHUNGSMETHODEN.] In: Boos, Markus (Ed.) Ecofruit - 11th International Conference on Cultivation Technique and Phytopathological Problems in Organic Fruit-Growing: Proceedings to the Conference from 3rd February to 5th February 2004 at Weinsberg/Germany, pp. 185-195.

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Summary

In a 3 years lasting field study with the ‘Golden Delicious’ cultivar, we compared fruits of 5
pairs of organic/integrated fruit farms. The orchards were similar in microclimate, soil conditions and
planting system. To assess inner fruit quality we investigated at the beginning and at the end of cold
storage: (i) standard parameters (firmness, sugar, malic acid., mineral content); (ii) sensorial quality
by panel tests; (iii) health related components (23 phenolic compounds, nutritional fibres; vitamins);
and (v) fruit «vitality quality» by holistic approaches (crystallisation in copper chloride, self degradation
tests, feeding preference tests with laboratory rats).
The most significant differences were found in year one of the study, and were by tendency
confirmed in the following two years. In year one all fruit samples of organic orchards had significantly
firmer fruit flesh (14%), a 10 % higher index of inner quality (on basis of sugar and malic acid
content and fruit flesh firmness), and 15% higher taste scores than conventional ones. Phosphorus
content of the fruit flesh was 31% higher in organic apples and closely correlated (r2 = 0.93) with the
index of inner quality and sensory score (r2 = 0.69). No extraction method of Phosphorus in the soil
(water, NH4-EDTA, citric acid, CAL) correlated with the P-content in the fruits. However, P in the fruit
flesh correlated by r2 = 0.72 with the microbial activity of the soil expressed as the ratio of microbialbound
Nitrogen and Carbon in the soil. With a value of 3.85 the Cmic:Nmic ratio was 44.5 % lower
(thus more favourable) in organic tree strips. Flavanols, with 65.7 % of the total polyphenol content
were the dominant group of polyphenols. The content of flavonols was 22.7 % higher in organic apples
in the first year and 15.6 % in the average of the three years. The self-degradation test didn't
provide significant differences. Laboratory rats, showed a tendency to prefer IP apples probably due
to their advanced ripeness. Thus rat behaviour did not correspond with the sensory panel judgement.
The picture forming method provided a correct reproducibility with repeated blind samples
before and after storage (r2 = 0.83), and distinguished 100 % correctly organic an IP fruit in the first
year. In the second year there was one miss qualification. The average value over three dates of
the index for «vitality quality», which was especially created for this study, was 44.6 % higher with
organic apples The picture forming methods correlated well with sensory scores and standard quality
(r2 = 0.63) in the first year. The study revealed interesting and consumer-relevant differences between
organic and integrated apples with standard and holistic methods.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:apple, Golden Delicious, organic, conventional, integrated, production, comparative stuty, quality, sensorial, standard, holistic, soil microbial activity, polyphenols, health
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Crop health, quality, protection
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Fruit and berries
Research affiliation: International Conferences > 2006: Ecofruit
Related Links:http://www.ecofruit.net
Deposited By: Tagung, Ecofruit
ID Code:14536
Deposited On:18 Sep 2008
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:38
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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