Strawberry consumer test conducted at MACFRUT trade fair

From 8th to 10th May 2024 the global fruit and vegetable supply chain met at the MACFRUT trade fair at the Rimini Expo Centre in Italy. MACFRUT can be considered as the most international agrifood event in Italy and BreedingValue was part of it!

The project was represented with its own exhibition booth, which showcased and discussed project activities and results with key stakeholders from the global fruit and vegetable industry. Furthermore, MACFRUT visitors also had the opportunity to taste some of the top strawberry cultivars as part of a consumer study conducted within the project by the Italian Institute of BioEconomy of the Italian National Research Council (CNR-IBR), partner within the BreedingValue consortium. The Marche Polytechnic University (UPM) provided these top strawberry cultivars, which were evaluated in a guided consumer test at the trade fair.

The consumer test was a comprehensive evaluation of 5 different strawberry varieties: LAURETTA, AN16,53,54, AN16,38,57, DINA, and ROMINA. A total of 84 consumers participated in the test, which involved both tasting and visual evaluation. They were asked to rate the overall liking of the sample and select the attributes that best described the sample under evaluation using a Check All That Apply (CATA) questionnaire. The same CATA questionnaire was used to identify the attributes that best described the ideal consumer strawberry at the end of both phases. In the tasting phase, among the varieties, ROMINA recorded the highest value in overall liking. The attributes “sweet”, “strawberry flavor”, “juicy”, and “soft” were the most cited for this variety, describing the main drivers related to liking. In the visual phase, LAURETTA and AN16,53,54 showed the highest value in overall liking, with “dark red color”, “bright”, “big fruit”, and “regular shape” being the main attributes driving consumer appreciation.

Besides the consumer test, during the MACFRUT fair, an info-point regarding the Breeding Value project was continuously manned by UPM staff to explain the activities and results of the project to the different stakeholders who participated in the fair. Many people stopped and asked for more information and preliminary results regarding the BreedingValue project. During the second day of the fair (9th of May), there was also a space dedicated to Italian research groups participating in Italian/International Research projects. In this space, every group had 10 minutes of time to present the main activities of their own project. For the BreedingValue project, Luca Mazzoni from UPM gave a short presentation (10 minutes) regarding the main aims, objectives, and activities expected and performed inside the BreedingValue project to an audience of about 50 people.

Stefano Predieri (CNR-IBR) at the MACFRUT trade fair.

Luca Mazzoni (UPM) presenting BreedingValue project at MACFRUT fair