Quality is fitness for use and to consume. Quality of fruit is to meet the expectations of the consumer.
The overall quality may be broken down into component characteristics such a color, texture, flavor, nutritional value freedom from harmful microorganism and undesirable substances.
Fruit quality is strongly affected by temperature. Temperature directly influences metabolism and indirectly, cellular structure and other components that determine fruit quality such as color, texture, size and organoleptic properties.
The color of the fruit is critical for initial consumer acceptability but is quickly replaced by sweetness and a firm texture upon consumption.
However, there is increasing appreciation that quality of fruits means more than just taste, texture, and appearance.
Nutritional properties of fruit such as vitamins, minerals and perceived health benefits (e.g. antioxidants) are becoming factors in consumer preference.
Fruit quality means different things to different people: for grower, achieving high yield and large fruit: for transporter, long storage potential and continuity of supply.
For consumer, they consider good quality fruits to be those that look good, are firm and offer good flavor and nutritive value.
Consumer acceptability tends to be based on appearance and sensory properties associated with texture and flavor rather than on laboratory measurements such as titratable acidity, dry matter and firmness.
Fruit quality characteristics