Introduction: The fruit of feijoa has gained international relevance due to its high nutraceutical properties. In contrast with New Zealand, Colombia, or Turkey, in Mexico, the cultivation of feijoa is incipient and in-home gardens. It occurs in the states of Mexico, Michoacán, Puebla, and Veracruz. The main problem that exists in Mexico for selling this fruit is a limited commercialization. Thus, studying the variables that influence the purchase decision process is relevant. The objective of the present study was to characterize sensory attributes that the consumer perceives in the fresh feijoa, as well as the degree of affection for this fruit.
Method: The sensory characteristics of feijoa (Acca sellowiana) were analyzed and compared with those of the star fruit (Averrhoa carambola), kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) and guava (Psidum guava). With the sensory profile of the four different fruits, a quantitative descriptive analysis (QDA) was performed, and an acceptability test was carried out to determine the affectivity that consumers have on certain attributes of the fruit. A peer preference test was also carried out, where only feijoa and guava were used to see if consumers had greater affection for any of them.
Results and discussion: The sensory attributes that characterized the feijoa were the sweet aroma, intensity of aroma and residual fruit flavor. The star fruit excels in juiciness; the guava in intensity of aroma and acidity; and the kiwifruit in acidity and homogeneity. The Feijoa had the highest values in acidity, sweet aroma, intensity of aroma, homogeneity, hardness and residual fruit flavor. In terms of global acceptability, guava, kiwi, and feijoa were the most liked by the consumers.
Conclusion: The feijoa showed superiority in most attributes. Its sweet aroma and the intensity of the aroma favored the preference with respect to the kiwi, star fruit and guava. In contrast, the feijoa juiciness, stickiness, and acidity had values that negatively affected its acceptability. The guava was accepted as long as it had less acidity. The kiwifruit had attributes such as stickiness and low residual fruit taste favorably accepted. The star fruit had the lowest acceptance due to the high acidity, however, it had attributes such as homogeneity and juiciness that consumers liked.
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