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 . 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  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-