Studies on fruit and hard cider chemistry from Eastern WA grown English fruit

Primary author: D. Scott Mattinson

Primary college/unit: Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences
Campus: Pullman


Studies are underway at WSU-Pullman in the postharvest laboratory aimed at unveiling a first analysis of Eastern Washington cider apple fruit chemistry as a means for hard cider makers. The hard cider industry in the USA and WA state steadily increases, as much as 40% since 2008 (Galinato et al., 2016). Apples under study include a desert variety known for its tartness, ‘Improved Red McIntosh’, and 3 English varieties, ‘Dabinette’, ‘Golden Russet’, and ‘Major’. Each of the English varieties are known as high tannin containing fruit. The study revealed that ‘IRM’ had high %TA at 0.62 with low brix, whereas the English apples were 0.248:14.5 for ‘Dabinette’, 0.521:15.0 for ‘Major’, and 0.97:17.9 for ‘Golden Russet’. Blends of ‘NRM’ to English juice, each at 1:1 reveled that the hard ciders blended with more ‘sharp’ chemistry, the highest %TA was ‘IRM’:’Golden Russet’ at 0.89% TA. This cider also had the higher brix at 7.6.
Tannin levels for each juice and each blended cider were analyzed by the Porter assay (Porter et al., 1986). Tannin data revealed that English cider apples grown in Eastern WA due in fact have higher tannin levels than desert varieties, up to 0.139% in ‘Major’, 0.059% in ‘Golden Russet’, and 0.039% in ‘Dabinette’; ‘NRM’ at 0.016%. Tannin carried into the fermented cider, as ‘NRM’ blended with ‘Dabinette’ was highest at 0.045%.