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Pepper taste model provides opportunities for breeders, growers and traders

Last week, Caroline Labrie and Wouter Verkerke of Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture in Bleiswijk, presented the "Smaakmodel Paprika", the pepper taste model. The model was developed in collaboration with breeders Rijk Zwaan and Enza Zaden and accelerates the prediction of the taste level of bell peppers.

On the basis of several input parameters, the model predicts the taste of the pepper. This, according to Wouter Verkerke, offers new opportunities for Dutch pepper growers and retailers to further improve the taste of their products.

Caroline Labrie introduces the "Smaakmodel Paprika"

Caroline Labrie, researcher of quality in greenhouse vegetables at Wageningen University, explains the idea behind the taste model: "It starts with the collection of results retrieved from instrumental measurements, related to taste. Based on these results, a formula is composed predicting the outcome of the consumer panel. Ultimately, there will be a taste grade on a scale from 0 to 100 (unpleasant-pleasant). This ultimately represents the taste of the consumer panel." Within the model, a tasty pepper is mostly sweet and not too bitter. So the model focuses on the measurement of sweetness. Texture is therefore not taken into account.

According to Caroline, the model mainly offers flexibility, "It is cheaper and faster than an actual panel. More samples can be measured a day. We now have an objective standard in all seasons, a model that will continue to be the tool for taste monitoring over the years. Unfortunately, exceptional taste anomalies, which are not included in the model, are not recognized."

Wouter Verkerke questions Caroline Labrie, Stephan Persoon of Personal Vision and Jair Haanstra from Rijk Zwaan

For now, the model focuses on bell peppers. Point Peppers and snack peppers are difficult to predict. Although the model is intended for the Dutch pepper sector, Wouter is already considering a model for the German market. Caroline believes taste doesn’t differ much per country. "The only difference occurs when the packaging is known. When the tests are done blindfolded, there is virtually no difference."

Roel Klapwijk, Personal Vision

Jan Janse and Roel Tomers of Syngenta

Paul Schockman of Levhart, Rob van der Bas, product manager at Combilo and Rosanne Corbet on behalf of Van Nature for Combilo

Alfons Slaman of Slaman Peppers

Marco Hanemaaijer of Harvest House

Kees de Jong and Marcel van Koppen of Rijk Zwaan

Arend van Silfhout from Monsanto

Arnaud Bovy of the Plant Research Instituut Wageningen

Jan de Bloois and Florent Rezeau of Rijk Zwaan

Stephan Persoon of Personal Vision with Jair Haanstra of Rijk Zwaan

Wouter Lindeman from Enza

More information:
Wageningen UR Glastuinbouw
Wouter Verkerke
E: [email protected]
T: 0317 - 485606

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