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Evaluation of quality attributes and consumer preference of fresh or imported mangoes in Italy

Department of Agricultural, Food and Forest Sciences, Università degli Studi di Palermo, viale delle Scienze ed. 4, 90128 Palermo, Italy

Special Editions: Consumer sensory perception and quality of food: trends in sensory branding

Mango is a climacteric fruit with a very short shelf-life due to its rapid ripeness after harvest. Generally, fruit from tropical countries and directed to longer transportation (EU markets), are in general harvested firm, before complete ripening (mature-green stage). This harvest practice usefully for mango fruit storability and transportability, generally causes fruits quality and taste decrease. The present study was conducted to evaluate quality attributes and consumer preference of fresh or imported mangoes in Italy. Mango fruit imported from abroad (cv Keitt, Kent and Osteen) were collected from 2 different large-scale organized distribution markets (LD). Mango fruits (cv Keitt, Kent and Osteen) produced in Italy, were harvested from a commercial orchard (Furiano, Messina), at mature-green (GR) and mature-ripe stage (MR). Imported and local mango fruits were analyzed in terms of firmness, total soluble solids content (TSS), titratable acidity (TA) and flesh disorders. Both categories of mango fruits (imported and local) were subjected to sensory evaluation and consumer acceptability. Our results confirmed that mango ripening leads to increased expression of quality and sensory attributes, as well as, aromas, tropical flavor, and taste. Mango fruit harvested in Italy (local) showed the best quality performances in terms of weight, firmness, TSS and TA. Sensorial analysis and consumer test, confirmed this behavior, in fact, these quality attributes, were perceived by the trained panel and by the consumers, that preferred local mango fruits.
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