What is Fruit Flavor?

By: Pittman & Davis | On: | Category: Fruit Information

We at Pittman & Davis love fruit! Fruits are beautiful to look at (the vivid colors of our citrus fruits!) and wonderfully fragrant (just the scent of our fresh grapefruits can brighten up a dull winter’s day). But more important than either of those qualities is the taste of our fresh fruit. The warm, healthy climate in which our Texas fruits are grown produces the most delicious grapefruits and citrus fruit of all varieties!

Why Fruit Flavor Trumps Everything Else

It’s happened to everyone. You go to the grocery store and see the most tempting fruit: plump, juicy-looking grapes, colorful, down-skinned peaches, bright and rosy apples, plump oranges and grapefruits. You buy them, take them home, have a bite, and find they’re practically flavorless. What a disappointment! It’s almost enough to put you off buying fruit altogether.

How can something so attractive looking be so flavorless? There are several factors at play when determining the flavor of a piece of fruit. The human tongue detects a variety of different tastes, among them, sweet, salty, sour, and bitter, while the olfactory nerve endings found in the nose can detect the volatile compounds that make up the aroma of fruit. Together, these determine the quality of a fruit’s flavor.

How Sweet it Is: Sugars Found in Fruit

Unsurprisingly, how sweet a fruit tastes depends on its sugar content. But did you know the type of sugar can determine the sweetness of the fruit? The most common sugars found in peaches, plums, and apples are fructose, glucose, sorbitol, and sucrose. Each of these sugars has a different level of sweetness, so the dominant sugar present in the fruit will impact the overall sweetness of that fruit.

A Touch of Tartness: Acids found in Fruit

Just as the type of sugar influences the taste of fruit, so does the type of acid it contains. Organic acids (like malic acid, which is the dominant acid in apples) balance with the sweetness of the sugars to add complexity to the taste of the fruit. An orange that’s very low in organic acids would lack the fruit’s trademark tanginess that enhances its sweetness and gives it its unique flavor.

What Determines How a Fruit Will Taste?

So we now know that sugars and acids are what give fruit its unique flavor, and that specific fruits and acids are found in specific fruits. But if that’s the case, why does one Cara Cara Orange taste different than another Cara Cara Orange? It can be frustrating when you love the taste of a specific fruit, but the taste isn’t consistent.

There are a number of factors that determine a fruit’s flavor: genetics, growing environment, growing practices, maturity of fruit at the time it was harvested, and how soon after harvest it’s consumed being the major ones.

When you buy fruit from a reputable fruit company like Pittman & Davis, you can trust that the flavor will always be just as it should be. Our growers breed their fruit with the goal of providing the best flavor. We also go with growers in the best climates for the specific types of fruit – for example, our Ruby Red Grapefruit is grown in Texas and the Indian River region in Florida, which are two of the best climates in the world for producing sweet, flavorful grapefruit. Our trees are also pampered with careful pruning, feeding, and watering to produce the best fruit possible.

What’s most important, though, is that we don’t rush the ripening process. Many citrus fruits take a while to ripen fully, and we’ve found that, the longer they’re on the tree, the sweeter our citrus fruits are. Leaving them on the tree until they’re ready to be picked and shipped gives them the chance to soak up every drop of sweetening sunshine possible for a flavor you won’t find anywhere else.

Finally, fruits placed in cold storage can lose flavor, and the longer they’re in storage, the more flavor they lose. That’s why we rush your fruit to you as soon as possible, so it comes to you at its best and ready to enjoy.

Superior Flavor, Guaranteed!

We’re so confident our fruit is the best, we back it with our special guarantee: if you or your friends are not absolutely delighted with every gift you receive, we will replace the gift or refund the purchase price. Since 1926, Pittman and Davis has fully guaranteed your satisfaction with every fruit gift we send. Try it and find out why you can trust Pittman & Davis to provide the best fruit. You may never go back to grocery chain fruit again!

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