A good flavour is an opportunity to create added value in strawberries. Flavour is a complex property that involves several factors.
The instrumental model developed by Wageningen University & Research enables flavour to be measured quantitatively, with a good explained variance (76%). This has been possible for tomatoes, blocky peppers and melons for some time. These models are used in breeding to screen early-stage lines for flavour or to monitor flavour during cultivation. For example, the model used for tomatoes has set the standard for flavour measurements by breeders and retailers in the fresh tomato supply chain in the Netherlands.
A model predicts the output of a hedonistic consumer panel. In concrete terms, the input consists of instrumental data such as Brix, to calculate the output as a flavour score on a scale of 0 (unpleasant) to 100 (pleasant). The benefits of these models are that they are quicker and cheaper than consumer panels; flavour scores can be collected and compared between and within seasons; and fewer fruits are needed to obtain a reliable score.