Main content area

Measuring changes in consumer satisfaction associated with kiwifruit ripening: A new approach to understand human-product interactions with fruit

Harker, F. Roger, Hunter, Denise, White, Anne, Richards, Kate, Hall, Miriam, Fullerton, Christina
Postharvest biology and technology 2019 v.153 pp. 118-124
consumer satisfaction, dry matter content, fruit quality, fruits, genotype, hedonic scales, kiwifruit, politics, probability, ripening, sugars
There are societal and political pressures on consumers to eat more fruit and reduce the amount that they waste. Providing consumers with fruit that remain edible for longer in homes is one way of improving consumption. Changes in consumer satisfaction with kiwifruit that varied in ripeness (mean puncture force from 4 N to 12 N), were assessed according to two definitions: (1) percentage of individuals providing scores above the arbitrary threshold, ‘neither like nor dislike’, and (2) percentage of individuals who provided scores that were not more than 1 unit lower than their own maximum score. It was demonstrated that individual consumers have variable and sometimes opposing hedonic responses to fruit ripening, but at an aggregate level softer/riper fruit proved the highest probability for delivering satisfaction. A comparison of two genotypes of kiwifruit demonstrated that for the one with higher intrinsic eating quality (i.e. as indicated by higher overall dry matter content and sugar levels) the percentage of consumers providing hedonic scores above ‘neither like nor dislike’ was higher. However, when satisfaction was defined according to scores that were not more than 1 unit lower than the individual’s maximum, the aggregated change in satisfaction during ripening was similar for all lines of fruit. A definition for the edible period of fruit is proposed, and the kiwifruit results demonstrate that its length is determined by the intrinsic eating quality of fruit and by the changes in consumer liking that occurring during ripening.