Challenges and opportunities for sensory and consumer science in new cultivar development and fresh produce marketing

Current Opinion in Food Science 2021, 39: 152–158
The article can be viewed here.

Abstract: Amy J. Bowen and Alexandra Grygorczyk. Traditionally, sensory quality was not prioritized in fruit and vegetable breeding programs as they focused on introducing high yielding, disease resistant products. In recent years, the sector has been shifting away from a commodity market to more value-added and branded options. To stay competitive, new cultivar introductions increasingly require excellent sensory properties resulting in the integration of sensory and consumer research into many fruit and vegetable breeding programs. This shift is not without its challenges for sensory scientists who, when evaluating produce need to manage high natural variability, maturity, ripeness and postharvest handling considerations. Heightened focus on value-added marketing has also led to increased interest in meeting consumer demands to reduce food waste by marketing imperfect produce. This trend is just one example of new opportunities for sensory and consumer science in the produce sector, an area of research that is expected to continue to grow in the coming years.

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