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The present study investigated how sighted and blind sensory assessors evaluated the quality of various apple varieties: Regal Prince (Gala Must), Jonagold Schneica (Jonica), Watson Jonathan, Golden Reinders and Generos. A total of 80 sighted and 12 blind people participated in the study, in three groups (sighted people without blindfolds, sighted people with blindfolds, blind people). The preference of sensory attributes (size, shape, colour, texture, taste and odour) was evaluated on a six-category scale. The data were analysed using single-factor (ANOVA, LSD95%, 99%) and multi-factor (Cluster analysis, ANOVA, LSD95%, 99%) evaluation. The results showed that blind and sighted assessors made similar judgements on external attributes perceptible by touch (size, shape), but differed in their evaluation of certain quality factors (flavour, taste), resulting in opponent patterns of preference on some apple varieties (Generos, Jonagold Schneica). A further conclusion of the experiment is that there was less deviation between the judgements of sighted assessors when they saw the apples than when they were blindfolded. The background of this phenomenon might be explained by the uncertainty and disturbed perception, which lead to inconsistent judgements.

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. ( 2011 ). Role of sight in flavour perception: sensory assessment of apple varieties by sighted and blind panels . Acta Alimentaria , 40 : 198 – 213 . 10.1556/AAlim.40.2011.Suppl.19

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