UC Garden Blogs
Thanksgiving is a time to gather together with family and friends. The occasion is usually centered around a big meal followed by pumpkin pie, and hopefully some time to let each person share a list of what they are most grateful for that year. Here at...
Adult syrphid fly.
If you look closely, you'll not only see the cycle of life in your garden, but art as the center of life. Take the Gulf Fritillaries. They're a stunning orangish-reddish butterfly (Agraulis vanillae) with silver-spangled underwings. It's a delight...
The tiny yellow egg of a Gulf Fritillary glows in the early morning sun. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A Gulf Fritillary caterpillar inches away from a passionflower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The empty chrysalis of a Gulf Fritillary hangs like a broken chandelier. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Gulf Fritillaries, aka passion butterflies, mating in the passionflower vine. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Your sense of taste, smell, sight, hearing and touch sends signals to your brain that the holiday feasting season has arrived. These basic senses are the tools that influence how much you like – or dislike – the foods you eat.
Sensory evaluation also has practical applications in agriculture. UC Agriculture and Natural Resources researchers and their colleagues often conduct sensory panels for specific food crop studies. Recently volunteer evaluators filed into the sensory evaluation lab at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center to participate in a grape sensory panel. UC researcher Mary Lu Arpaia and USDA researcher David Obenland collected data for a study on the impacts of various storage conditions on grape varieties.
“There's a bit of psychology involved as well. How the product looks can influence your perception of how it tastes. To further eliminate bias, evaluators are intentionally isolated in individual stations so as not to be influenced by their neighbors' reactions,” explained David Obenland.
The sensory evaluation lab at the Kearney Agricultural REC reflects the current philosophy of fruit commodity research that the industry's focus should be on sensory evaluation, from new pest management to horticultural practices to varietal improvements. The lab was completed and dedicated in April 2008 with support from the California Avocado Inspection Committee, Citrus Research Board, Food Machinery Corporation, Peach, Plum and Nectarine Growers of California, Sunkist and Table Grape Commission.
Author: Roberta Barton
You never know what they will do. When you release newly emerged monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus), some linger in the comfort of your hand. Some soar high into the sky. Some flutter to a nearby bush or tree. When we released two newly...
A male (left) and female monarch on a scarlet milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A female monarch (right) moves toward the male. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Two monarchs meet. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Quick, what's the answer to: "What is the smallest insect that is not a parasite or parasitoid?" Okay then, "What are the three primary conditions that define eusociality?" Or how about "Nicrophorus americanus is listed under what legislative...
This was the scene at the ESA Linnaean Games Championships: UC Davis on the left, and the University of Florida on the right. (Photo by Mohammad-Amir Aghaee, who received his doctorate in entomology from UC Davis and is now in a postdoctoral position at North Carolina State University)
National champions: Gamesmaster Deane Jorgenson (far left) and ESA president Phil Mulder (far right) pose with the UC Davis Linnaean Games Team, who won the national ESA Linnaean Games Championship.. Members In the center are (from left) Jessica Gillung, Brendon Boudinot, captain Ralph Washington Jr., and Ziad Khouri. (Photo by Matthew Chism)