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Donadini G.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Fumi M.D.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Vanoni L.,National Research Council Italy | Porretta S.,Experimental Station for the Food Preserving Industry
Journal of Sensory Studies

The hedonic response of preschoolers to six Protected Denomination of Origin Italian cheeses has been investigated. Cheese samples were Mozzarella di bufala, Parmigiano Reggiano, Fontina, Taleggio, Gorgonzola and Pecorino Romano. Sensory tests revealed that Mozzarella di bufala and Parmigiano Reggiano were the most liked cheeses. Gorgonzola was the least appreciated cheese. Patterns of preference for cheese were not linear, depending on the joint effect of gender and cheese variety eaten. Hierarchical Cluster Analysis of the preference data identified five groups of children with different cheese likes and dislikes. Partial Least Square Regression modeling of cheese acceptability of sensory-driven children subgroups with homogeneous cheese preference revealed different focusing on sensory characteristics of cheese among clusters. Nearly one child out of two focused either on cheese flavors and textures whereas nearly one child out of eight exclusively on flavors. These results were substantiated by children open discussion in focus groups. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Caruso G.,University of Naples Federico II | Villari G.,Experimental Station for the Food Preserving Industry | Melchionna G.,University of Naples Federico II | Conti S.,University of Naples Federico II
Scientia Horticulturae

Alpine strawberry (Fragaria vesca L.) was grown in hydroponics with the nutrient film technique, in order to evaluate the effects of four buffer concentrations (1.3, 1.6, 1.9, 2.2mScm-1) and two cultural cycles (summer-spring versus autumn-spring) in terms of growth, yield and fruit quality (dry and optical residues, sugars, acids, antioxidants, mineral composition). The longer summer-spring cycle gave a correspondingly higher yield than the autumn-spring one. The 1.3mScm-1 nutrient solution was the most effective in terms of overall and spring production. However, the autumn and winter yields were not affected by the buffer EC. Fruit quality did not change with the cultural cycle, but the berries harvested in the spring had higher vitamin C and sucrose content and lower nitrate content compared with berries picked up in the winter. Fruit quality was also improved when the nutrient solution concentration increased. From the productive point of view, the cultural cycle choice should be made considering that 71% of the yield of the more productive summer-spring cycle derived from the spring harvest. Moreover, as regards the nutrient solution strength, 1.3mScm-1 EC should be preferred during the spring season, whereas the 2.2mScm-1 EC proved to be best in the winter in terms of fruit quality. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source

Caruso G.,University of Naples Federico II | Conti S.,University of Naples Federico II | Villari G.,Experimental Station for the Food Preserving Industry | Borrelli C.,University of Naples Federico II | And 4 more authors.
Scientia Horticulturae

The aim of this research was to evaluate the effects of four transplanting times (1 February, 16 February, 3 March, 18 March) and three plant densities (21.2, 27.2 and 38.1ptm-2) on the growth, productivity and bulb quality indicators (size, dry weight, soluble solids content, sugars, acids, amino acids, antioxidants, mineral composition) of long-day onion crops, cultivar "Ramata di Montoro".Crop yield, bulb mean weight and calibre decreased significantly from the earliest to the latest transplanting time. Plant density did not affect production significantly but the most spaced crop (21.2ptm-2) produced bulbs of the biggest size.The bulb quality indicators responded differently to transplanting time: dry weight, glucose, fructose, raffinose, citric and malic acids and vitamin C content did not change; soluble solids content, sucrose, and oxalic acid increased from the 1 February to the 18 March transplanting time, while pyruvic acid, calcium, chlorides and nitrates content decreased. The sequence of transplanting times resulted in complex pattern of variations of the mineral composition and of the free amino acid content of the bulbs. The bulb total polyphenol content did not vary with the transplanting time and it was about 7mgg-1 dry weight, with the outer skins containing more than double polyphenols compared to the inner fresh scales.This research on "Ramata di Montoro" onion has shown that early transplanting increases bulb yield and size, whereas some aspects of bulb quality improve with late transplants. © 2014 Published by Elsevier B.V. Source

Conti S.,University of Naples Federico II | Villari G.,Experimental Station for the Food Preserving Industry | Faugno S.,University of Naples Federico II | Melchionna G.,University of Naples Federico II | And 2 more authors.
Scientia Horticulturae

Organic foods represent a significant market segment within the global food industry, since these products are often believed to be safer and more nutritious than their conventional counterparts. Due to the growing importance of organic strawberry cultivation for several agricultural areas in Italy, we carried out a four year research (2008-2011) on Fragaria×. ananassa grown under tunnel in Campania (southern Italy), with the purpose of assessing the effects of two farming systems (organic or conventional) combined with propagation material (fresh or cold stored plants) and crop duration (annual or biennial) on yield and quality. The experimental treatments were randomized in a split-plot design, assigning the farming systems to the main plots and the propagation material in factorial combination with the crop duration to the subplots, with three replicates.The conventional system produced the highest yield, as a consequence of the higher fruit number per plant, while the organic management resulted in increased berry mean weight. Organic fruits showed higher values of dry and optical residue and higher content of glucose, sucrose, vitamin C and ß-carotene but lower nitrate. Fresh plant crops produced a lower yield than the cold stored ones; moreover, the fruit production of fresh plants was higher when grown as an annual crops compared with a biennial cycle, independently on the farming system. In the case of cold stored plants, no yield differences were recorded between annual and biennial cultivations under conventional management, whereas organic crops from cold stored plants showed higher yields as annual crops compared with the biennial cycle. Fruit dry residue as well as sucrose, malic acid and mineral element content attained higher values in the fruits harvested from biennial crops than from the annual ones.The choice of organic system as an alternative to the conventional practice could be justified by the better fruit quality, lower environmental impact and higher market prices. Moreover, the biennial crop duration could be a cost effective option when the crop is started from cold stored plants under organic management. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

Donadini G.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Fumi M.D.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Porretta S.,Experimental Station for the Food Preserving Industry
Journal of Sensory Studies

Preschoolers' hedonic response to fish dishes was investigated by actual tasting in a natural environment of consumption. Cod with tomato sauce (CTS), plaice with tomato sauce (PTS) and oven-baked breaded plaice (OBBP) were scored during school lunch by 90 preschoolers on a 5-point nongender facial scale. Liking varied significantly (P<0.001) across dishes. CTS and OBBP were highly appreciated and significantly preferred to PTS, which was disliked. Cluster analysis identified four groups of children with homogeneous preference patterns. Nearly 4 children out of 10 equally liked OBBP and CTS, and disliked PTS. Nearly one child out of three equally liked all the dishes. One child out of seven preferred OBBP to fish dishes with tomato sauce. One child out of 10 preferred CTS to dishes with plaice. Acceptance was related not only to objective sensory properties of fish dishes but also on background characteristics of the children. Familiarity with the fish dish, the reported liking of the target fish types as well as the neophobic status of children modulate the hedonic response to fish dishes. For nearly 6 children out of 10, liking is positively related to fish odor, fish flavor and greasiness, whereas it is negatively related to softness, jelly-like texture, fast melting and falling apart easily textures. For one child out of seven, liking is positively related to bread-related attributes and negatively with tomato-related attributes. For 1 child out of 10, liking is negatively related to tomato-related attributes and fish odor. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

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