The tomato flavour model is developed by the business unit Greenhouse Horticulture to screen the flavour level of fruits. It now provides the standard for communication on tomato flavour levels in the greenhouse industry.
After long tasting sessions the assessors of consumer panels may become less motivated to participate. Long sessions or too many sessions in a week may also produce specific noise in the flavour data. We allow our panels to taste not too many products per session or per week, but some of our customers may have some 150 different samples for a simultaneous flavour evaluation.
Tomato flavour model
To accommodate for such market demands, we developed a model to predict the outcome of our consumer panel. The tomato flavour model uses instrumental input parameters for sensory attributes and calculates the liking on a 0 – 100 scale. The model does not use concentrations of aromatic compounds, but instead uses the correlation between the attributes “sweetness” and “aromatic”, and also incorporates texture attributes.
Flavour models for other crops
The model will never fully replace the consumer panel, but it is a useful tool for a quick overview on differences between varieties or monitoring the effects of seasonal variation in flavour levels. It also allows for data collection on a larger scale. Thus it may allow to screen flavour levels very early in the breeding chain. A flavour model has also been developed for sweet pepper and Galia melon. A model for strawberry is presently under construction.