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Fruit quality evaluation of two new cactus crops for arid zones: Cereus peruvianus and Cereus jamacaru

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The columnar cacti Cereus peruvianus and C. jamacaru are being evaluated as potential new exotic fruit crops suitable for cultivation in arid zones. Sensory tests of fruits of two accessions of C. peruvianus (G2 and Q9) and two accessions of C. jamacaru (B3 and B6) indicated that the fruits of the two C. peruvianus cultivars are more palatable than those of the C. jamacaru clones. The study showed that analyses of volatiles and polysaccharides were good indicators of fruit quality (aroma and texture, respectively). However, sensory evaluations were found to be better indicators of quality than physico-chemical criteria that are conventionally in use for quality determination, such as titratable acidity, pH, sugars, and total soluble solids. The results obtained showed that sensory evaluations are of essential value as research tools capable of delineating sensory and quality profiles of fresh Cereus fruits.

Affiliations: 1: The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Be'er Sheva 84105, Israel ; 2: Department of Vegetable Crops, Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), Newe Ya'ar Research Center


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