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Aroma references along with strawberry samples used in training.
Aroma references along with strawberry samples used in training.

Vineland Research and Innovation Centre has published a case study that looks at a descriptive lexicon for fresh strawberries. The sensory descriptors are for aroma, flavour, taste and texture. They note that other berries – blueberries, blackberries and raspberries – could be evaluated as well.


During evaluation, Vineland’s trained sensory panelists evaluated strawberries using a descriptive lexicon.  This included Ontario field-grown, Ontario greenhouse-grown and imported American berries. Products were tasted blind, under red lighting and identified with a three-digit code to avoid bias. All varieties were purchased commercially.


The descriptive lexicon included:


-  Aroma/flavour attributes: overall aroma and taste, citrus, floral, grassy, fermented, honey


- Taste attributes: sweet, acidic, bitter, astringent


- Texture attributes: firm, granular flesh, seedy, juicy


The results showed there was a trend of higher overall aroma and taste for the Ontario field-grown strawberries. The greenhouse-grown strawberries were distinct with a tart acidity and lower overall aromatic and taste profile. The U.S. imported strawberries were higher in fermented aroma and had lower acidity.


Full descriptive sensory profiles, similar to the ones generated in this pilot study, are key to understanding the sensory diversity in the product set. This knowledge is useful for marketing, product positioning and variety selection in production and variety development. Results can also be correlated with consumer acceptance to understand the sensory drivers that impact liking the product.


For more information, contact:  Amy Bowen, PhD, director, consumer, sensory and market insights, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre at:, 905-562-0320 x805


Source: Vineland Research and Innovation Centre November 16, 2023 news release


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Submitted by Karen Davidson on 20 November 2023