Comparison between Hydroponic and Soil-Grown Strawberries: Sensory Attributes and Correlations with Nutrient Content


Hydroponic growing methods are growing in popularity and seem to have numerous benefits (i.e., environmental, increased product yields, year round growing) compared to soil grown crops. Although these advantages are attractive, they do not guarantee a high quality product. Taste is a driver of consumer acceptance; therefore, sensory analysis of the hydroponic product will be an important indicator in its success. In this study, we evaluated the sensory differences and preferences in hydroponically grown and soil-grown strawberries (Fragaria x ananassa) using unspecified discriminatory and preference analyses, and descriptive testing correlated with nutrition content data. Most (87%) of participants could identify differences between hydroponically and soil grown strawberries and 70% preferred the hydroponically grown strawberry (p = 0.06). The nutrient composition of the strawberries significantly influenced several sensory analysis categories (sweetness, overall flavor and overall taste (p < 0.05)). The use of sensory studies in relation to consumer acceptance and nutrient quality will be an important factor to consider for exploring growing methods and techniques in hydroponic technology.

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Treftz, C. , Zhang, &. and Omaye, S. (2015) Comparison between Hydroponic and Soil-Grown Strawberries: Sensory Attributes and Correlations with Nutrient Content. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 6, 1371-1380. doi: 10.4236/fns.2015.615143.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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