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Warmund MR, Elmore JR, Adhikari K, McGraw S. Descriptive sensory analysis and free sugar contents of chestnut cultivars grown in North America. J Sci Food Agric. 2011 Aug 30;91(11):1940-5.
BACKGROUND: Various chestnut (Castanea) species and cultivars are currently produced and marketed in North America including Peach, Qing, AU-Homestead, Eaton, Marrone di Castel del Rio, and Colossal. In spite of their availability in the marketplace, similarities in sensory characteristics of chestnuts, as well as their unique attributes, have not been explored. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to evaluate texture and flavor attributes of commonly grown chestnut cultivars using descriptive sensory analysis and to quantify their free sugar content by gas-liquid chromatography.
RESULTS: Twenty-three sensory terms were used for descriptive analysis of roasted chestnuts. All but two attributes (raw impression and fermented) were common to all chestnut cultivars. Peelability, initial firmness, dissolvability, and mustard, sweet, and sour flavors varied among cultivars. Sucrose, the predominant free sugar in chestnuts, was greatest in Colossal chestnuts from California, while those of Peach had the lowest content. Glucose, fructose and maltose were also present in chestnuts.
CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated that cultivars of various chestnut species share several common sensory attributes, but differ in intensity ratings of six descriptors. Of these attributes, sweetness has been associated with consumer acceptance and can be promoted in the marketplace.