Consumers increasingly address their attention to healthy fruits produced under organic agricultural managements. However, such produce may be less appealing in appearance influencing the purchase decisions of consumers. This research had the purpose to determine on three Italian local apple cultivars (Casciana, Rosa, Ruggine) the sensory appreciation of fruit through experiments conducted with blind (BC) and sighted (SC) consumers. The appreciation of apples differed between consumers with different visual ability. This aspect mainly concerned cvs Casciana and Rosa with contrasting fruit appearance traits. The BCs were inclined to better evaluate Casciana apples characterised by less attractive fruits. Conversely, the visual factor could have influenced the SCs’ judgment, as they appreciated Rosa more by the best outer traits of fruits. Intriguing responses were obtained when SCs were blindfolded.
Food quality analysis addressed to the nutraceutical profile is becoming consistent highlighting the possibility to use the antioxidant capacity as further quality index of many fruit and vegetables species. In this study, the total antioxidant status of several apricot cultivars differing in ripening calendar, pomological traits and geographical origin have been determined by Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity (TEAC) assay and total phenol content by Folin-Ciocalteu (F-C) method. Among the cultivars analysed, the variability on the antioxidant capacity and total phenol content have been consistent, showing an increasing amount of antioxidants in the late ripening genotypes. These genotypes exhibited the best combination of pomological and nutraceutical traits with an excellent fruit qualitative profile.