DR RICHARD VOLZ (Plant & Food Research)
One of the quickest ways of assessing fruit characters such as texture and flavour is using an individual person. So we have a set of assessors that taste the fruit and record various attributes. Texture - we’ve broken it down into three main aspects - fruit firmness, fruit crispness and fruit juiciness. So in order for the assessors to become as consistent as possible we need to make sure that they are calibrated and one of the ways we do this calibration is to have standards. So for firmness we are using a standard which is a carrot, simply and that will be a firmness of nine on our scale whereas a banana would be a zero. Then for firmness it’s simply the force required when you bite down on a flesh of a particular apple. The force will give you a number on that zero to nine scale. With crispness celery would be a standard we use and it’s the pitch and volume of sound generated when that fruit is crushed within your teeth, and for juiciness its simply the amount of juice released in the mouth on that first bite and watermelon would be a standard we use for juiciness measurements. So those are the definitions for those different attributes. And the assessors will then give a number on that zero to nine scale as to where that attribute falls for that particular fruit sample.