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Food and beverages
Research studies conducted on organic produce have given conflicting results whether they have superior sensory qualities when compared to conventionally cultivated produce. The development and implementation of a reliable testing system is therefore required. In this study Irish grown organic and conventional carrots (cv. Nairobi), potatoes (cv. Orla) and tomatoes (cv. Amoroso) were selected for physicochemical (size, colour, dry matter, texture, sugars, oBrix & pH), volatile emissions and sensory analysis (trained and consumer
panels). All vegetables were tested in both a raw and cooked state. Few significant
differences were apparent between the organic and conventional vegetables for the
physicochemical components, volatile emissions and sensory properties. No significant
differences were evident between the organic and conventional carrots (raw or steamed) for
any of the instrumental or sensory parameters tested. The organic growing conditions appeared to have a significant impact on the texture (p<0.05) of the raw and baked potatoes, but did not appear to affect appearance, taste or consumer acceptability of baked
potatoes. The conventional tomatoes (raw or cooked) were perceived to be sweeter (p<0.05), and contained higher quantities of glucose and fructose (p<0.05) compared to the organic tomatoes (raw or cooked). Nonetheless, no significant differences were found
between the organic and conventional tomatoes for appearance and texture. The sensory quality of the organic vegetables was very similar to that of the conventional vegetables.
Gilsenan, C.:An Investigation into Factors Influencing the Sensory Properties of Selected Irish Grown Organic and Conventional Vegetables. Doctoral Thesis. Dublin Institute of Technology, March, 2010.