Physicochemical and sensory evaluation in apple diversity from mountainous areas in Spain
Ancient apple cultivars grown in local areas have so far been largely unexplored and might attract a large share of consumers oriented towards natural food evoking ancient flavors. In this work, 37 traditional apple cultivars of the Pyrenees and 14 commercial varieties were analyzed in terms of genetic diversity, sugars and total acidity content and sensory quality. The analysis showed a very wide range of variability for the values of acidity, brix, bitterness and astringency within commercial and local cultivars studied. High significant positive correlation have been observed among different traits such as titratable acidity with sourness, over color, skin flavor, russet and weight; flesh firmness with juiciness and eating quality; or skin color intensity with titratable acidity and sensory sourness. Similarly, high significant negative correlations have been observed among other traits such as harvest date with russet and skin thickness. The variability found in this group of local varieties, together with the different correlations among different characters, opens the door to fore coming studies to select the most suitable cultivars in order to promote the intrinsic value local food products of quality and differential value with interest in the market.