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A palm species native of South America, pejibaye (Bactris gasipaes), was recently introduced in Reunion Island in an attempt to diversify its agriculture. Morphological analyses highlighted the agronomic advantages of pejibaye including a high weight-to-harvest-date ratio compared to three mascarenes palm species. Sensory analyses by a trained panel allowed the elaboration of sensory profiles of the four palms tested. Ranking test done by 120 consumers revealed that pejibaye was preferred to the Mascarenes palms at the 5% level of significance and triangle test showed that Acanthophoenix rubra (red palm), the most cultivated species for the local market, was significantly different from pejibaje at the 1% level. Phenolic profiles revealed that pejibaye differed from the other species by a peak absorbing at 272 nm and weak polyphenol oxidase activities. As no browning reaction was observed in fresh cut pejibaye, this palm could be used for minimal processing (local and export market). PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

Sensorial characteristics of fresh hearts of palm are different of those of canned heart of palm, and fresh heart palms are generally preferred by consumers. However, the marketing of fresh palm is limited by the high level of oxidation of most of palm species. The high stability of pejibaye after cutting and its slow rate of oxidation offer the possibility of minimal processing, without special additives. So the packaging in wrapped trays of this palm, cut and stored at low temperature opens up new perspectives, ensuring sensorial quality of a “fresh” product with a shelf life allowing a controlled management of market supply.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centre de Cooperation Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le DéveloppementUMR Qualisud, MRST, BP20, 97490 Sainte ClotildeLa Réunion, France 2: Centre Régional d'Innovation et de Transfert de TechnologieCRITT-Réunion-CCIR, Pôle Analyse Sensorielle3 rue Serge Ycard, 97490 Sainte Clotilde La Réunion, France 3: Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement, UPR HortsysStation de Bassin Plat, BP180, 97455 Saint PierreLa Réunion, France

Publication date: 2010-09-01

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