University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division of Agriculture


Blackberries are grown worldwide for commercial fresh markets. Three Arkansas-grown fresh-market blackberry genotypes (‘Natchez’, ‘Ouachita’, and A-2418) were evaluated for consumer sensory and compositional attributes at the University of Arkansas Food Science Department, Fayetteville. The compositional attributes of the blackberries were within an acceptable range for commercial markets (soluble solids=8.20-11.90%, pH=2.79-3.18, titratable acidity=1.09-1.32%). In terms of soluble solids to titratable acidity ratio, ‘Ouachita’ (10.92) had the highest ratio, followed by ‘Natchez’ (8.93) and A-2418 (6.25). A consumer sensory panel (n=80) evaluated fresh-market blackberry attributes using a 9-point hedonic scale for overall impression, overall flavor, sweetness, and sourness and a 5-point Just-about-Right (JAR) scale for sweetness and sourness. The participants also ranked the blackberries in order of overall liking from most to least liked. For overall impression, overall flavor, and sweetness, ‘Natchez’ scored higher than ‘Ouachita’ and A-2418, but the panelists did not detect differences in sourness. In terms of JAR for sweetness, 64% of consumers scored ‘Natchez’ JAR, followed by ‘Ouachita’ (39%) and A-2418 (34%). Whereas, 42% percent found A-2418 “Too Sour”, followed by ‘Ouachita (33%) and ‘Natchez’ (25%). In terms of ranking the blackberries, ‘Natchez’ was the most liked blackberry followed by ‘Ouachita’ and A-2418. When looking only at blackberries ranked first, 53% of consumers ranked ‘Natchez’ as their most liked berry, compared to A-2418 (26%) and ‘Ouachita’ (21%). The results from this research suggested that fresh-market blackberries with medium-level sweetness to sourness ratios were preferred though more consumers than expected preferred the blackberries with the more extreme ratios.