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How cultivar choice affects Spanish consumers' acceptance of marzipan and chocolates made with almonds

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Authors: A. Romero, J. Tous, J. Plana, M.D. Guardia, A. Valero
Issue: 97V-3 (273-281)
Topic: Plant Production
Keywords: Almond quality, industry, bonbon, consumers' preferences, product evaluation

The objective of this work was to evaluate the consumers' acceptance for several industrial products made with both commercial and new almond cultivars. Chocolates (dark, brown or white chocolate blended with toasted kernels), marzipan and bonbons (toasted almonds enrobed with burnt sugar and coated with dark chocolate) were made in 1999 and 2000 with 'Desmayo Largueta', 'Francolí', 'Marcona', 'Masbovera' and 'Nonpareil'. Samples were coded and submitted to 650 consumers around Catatonia (NE of Spain), which valued them using a structured scale from 1 (do not like at all) to 7 (very good).
Results show that each cultivar is adapted in a different form to each industrial product, depending on its physical and chemical characteristics. Also, consumers prefer different cultivars for different products. Best marzipans were those made with 'Marcona' while samples including 'Nonpareil' were the most punished. Chocolates blended with 'Marcona' were less valued, not depending on the kind of chocolate, while 'Masbovera' was the most valued for dark and brown chocolates. When bonbons were tested, those made with 'Nonpareil' were less valued and they also showed the highest proportion of negative evaluations, although this problem could be solved changing the process. These first results confirm the great importance of almond cultivar choice to make a specific industrial product well accepted by consumers.

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