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Abstract

The aim of this paper was to present the preferences of apple consumers (students) concerned on the functional and sensory apples’ quality features: the apple cultivar and taste, skin colour, fruit size and fruit firmness. The survey data were collected in the years 2009 and 2011 among 265 and 208 students of the Poznan University of Life Sciences. The respondents completed the survey questionnaires in presence of the researcher. The respondents could choose no more than three of the listed apple cultivars. Furthermore the respondents could choose one answer from each list of the preferable apples quality features (taste, skin colour, fruit size and firmness of flesh). The most preferred apple cultivars were: Lobo, Jonagold, Szampion, Golden Delicious and Cortland. The percentage of students whose did not know the name of the apple cultivar they consumed was high and it amounted to 17% in 2009 and 24% in 2011. Students preferred sweet-winy taste of apples, the red colour of fruit skin, with blush, the fruits of medium size and tough. The colour of apple skin was the least important quality feature – it did not matter for more than 1/3 of respondents, mainly males. The differences between males and females students appeared in taste of apple fruits and firmness of flesh. The sour taste of apples was preferred by relatively more males than females and for bigger percentage of males the taste of fruits was not important. More females preferred sweet and very sweet apples and tough.

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