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Sensory quality of turnip greens and turnip tops grown in northwestern Spain - page 5 / 31

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In later years, the importance of the quality of vegetables for consumers has

continuously increased. Main criteria are sensory characteristics and higher health

benefits. Descriptive sensory analysis can be considered as the first step in the sensory

characterization of a food product, providing a pre-defined terminology for describing

sensory perceptions as objectively as possible [11]. Sensory profiles in Brassica crops

have been determined mainly for B. oleracea crops such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli

and cauliflower cultivars [8, 10, 12, 13, 14]. However, little information has been

reported about descriptive sensory analysis for B. rapa crops as turnip tops and turnip

greens. Only Jones & Sanders [15] defined a panel based on flavor and aroma traits and

found differences among turnip greens varieties and maturity.

The objectives of this study were i) to define the sensory attributes of a set of B.

rapa varieties grown as turnip tops and turnip greens in NW Spain, ii) to relate them

with the content of secondary metabolites and iii) to select those sensorial traits that

better describe these crops .

Material and Methods

Plant material. Twelve local varieties of B. rapa were evaluated in this study (Table 1).

From these, 10 varieties were chosen based on their agronomic performance for turnip

tops and/or turnip greens and two varieties derived from three cycles of masal selection

by fresh yield. The variety designation as well as their geographical and source of origin

are shown in Table 1. The varieties were evaluated in two years (2006 and 2007) at two

locations in northwestern Spain: Oroso (A Coruña) (43°1’N, 8°26’W, 280 m.a.s.l.) and

Guitiriz (Lugo) (43°12’N, 7°53’W, 516 m.a.s.l.). Both locations represent standard B.

rapa production areas in northwestern Spain. The varieties were planted in multiplot-

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