RENI LESTARI1, SUSANNE HUYSKENS-KEIL1, DETLEF ULRICH2, GEORG EBERT1
1Humboldt-Universitšt zu Berlin, Department of Fruit Science, Germany
2Federal Centre for Breeding Research on Cultivated Plants, Institute of Plant Analysis, Germany
The worldwide market and demand for new exotic subtropical and tropical fruits, revealing a high nutritional and sensory value, has significantly increased in the past few years. Among these crops, the palm tree salak fruit, originating from South-East Asia, has a high potential as an export crop for the fresh market. Among the 30 cultivars in Indonesia, pondoh is the most promising one since it provides superior fruit quality especially in respect to its taste being sweeter with no bitter or sour taste components in comparison to other cultivars, even at early ripening stages. To enter the international market, the knowledge about consumer acceptance and sensory attributes is very important.
The purpose of this study was to analyse aroma and volatile compounds and to evaluate the sensory attributes of different salak cultivars. A descriptive panel evaluated the sensory profile of four salak cultivars, i.e. cv. pondoh manggala, cv. pondoh hitam, cv. pondoh super and cv. gading. For the identification of aroma compounds, GC/MS and gas chromatography-olfactometry (GCO) using the nasal impact frequency (NIF) method have been performed.
The panels evaluated the following attributes with a high ranking: appearance, taste intensity, colour, firmness, size and after taste. In respect to `sweetness' the following ranking was done: cv. pondoh manggala, cv. pondoh hitam, cv. pondoh super and cv. gading. The `acidity' of salak fruits was evaluated as medium. By GC/MS, a number of 50 compounds were identified (esters, acids, alcohols and furanons). In GCO analysis, 17 important volatile compounds were detected and 14 were identified. Important aroma descriptors of the volatile compounds were the following: fruity, green, sweet, pleasant, flowery, pineapple, potato, cheesy, overripe, chemical, metallic, burned, sweaty and unpleasant. In conclusions, the consumer accepts salak fruit in respect to its appearance and taste. However, in respect to aroma, more studies on consumer acceptance of salak fruits are needed for further worldwide marketing purposes.
Keywords: Consumer acceptance, salak fruit, sensory attributes