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Consumers’ Impression of Minimally Processed Gala Apples Using Word Association

Krumreich, F. D., Seifert, M., Santos, R. B., Gularte, M. A.
Journal of food science 2019 v.84 no.10 pp. 2955-2960
apples, consumer preferences, correspondence analysis, cultivars, education, gender, social networks, storage time, taste, texture, women
This study aimed to identify consumers’ preferences and impressions of minimally processed “Gala” cultivar apples, using preference tests and word associations. The study was conducted online via the Google Docs tool and sent out via social networks. The participants were 607 individuals, mostly women, mainly between the ages of 18 and 45, with education up to undergraduate and postgraduate level. As regards the preference for minimally processed apples, the profile of the consumer did not influence the choice. The profiles analyzed were gender and education. For the word association test, 11‐word categories were formed, and among these, the most important aspect was appearance, followed by taste and texture, which was confirmed by correspondence analysis. Sample A (0 days—no storage) was the most preferred one, differing significantly from the other samples, whereas sample B (3 days of storage) and sample C (6 days of storage) were associated with characteristics for choice of product. The word association methodology revealed the consumer's impressions of the product, in addition to demonstrating simplicity, low cost, speed, and an exploratory character. PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Gender and level of schooling did not influence the choice of minimally processed apples. Appearance was the most cited word in the word association test. Word association is a simple, fast, inexpensive, and projective technique.