Effect of information about mandarin internal maturity on consumer hedonic and sensory expectations: a cross-cultural study in Spain and Mexico
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Cita bibliográficaTarancón, P., Pintor‐Jardines, A., Escalona‐Buendía, H. B. & Besada, C. (2021). Effect of information about mandarin internal maturity on consumer hedonic and sensory expectations: a cross‐cultural study in Spain and Mexico. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 101(15), 6586-6594.
Background: Under certain climate conditions, citrus fruit may reach optimum internal maturity while the rind is still green. It is therefore customary to enhance skin colour changes by submitting early citrus varieties to ethylene degreening treatment, which implies a cost and may result in external disorders. In this study, the effect on consumer expectations (sensory and hedonic) of providing them with information about the internal maturity of non-degreened mandarins (greenish-coloured rind) was evaluated. Results: Mandarins with three different external colour indices (CI), CI = −6, CI = +1 and CI = +5, and three ways of conveying information, were investigated: (I) No information (NoInfo), (II) The text ‘Mandarins ready to eat’ (Text) and (IIIº) Text + Visualisation of mandarin flesh (orange-coloured in all cases) (Text+Flesh). Consumer expected liking, purchase intention and sensory expectations were markedly affected after receiving the different information types. The greatest effect was detected when Text+Flesh information was provided. Rind mandarin colour was also a determinant factor of how consumer expectations were modified by the received information. Moreover, our results revealed some differences among Spanish and Mexican consumers, since maturity information had a stronger effect on hedonic expectations of Mexican consumers. Conclusions: When mandarins reach CI = +5 (pale orange-coloured rind with small areas still green), letting consumers know that mandarins are ready to eat by means of Text+Flesh information may be a non-cost strategy to avoid degreening treatment or to shorten its length.