Food Quality and Preference

Published by Elsevier
Online ISSN: 0950-3293
Publications
Article
Individual differences in food-related knowledge structures were explored by applying schema theory to examine the categories 42 adults used to classify foods across four eating contexts. Food card-sort labels were organized into 12 categories, category salience for each person was evaluated, and cluster analysis was used to identify clusters of participants according to the salience of their categories. Clusters were further evaluated for complexity and consistency of category use across contexts. Seven food schema clusters were identified. Meal/time and Routine categories were the most salient overall and were used by most clusters. Well-being, Person, Source, Convenience, Meal component, and Food group categories varied in salience across clusters. The complexity and consistency of the food categories participants used across the contexts varied among the clusters. This study provided insight about cognitions that may underlie food-choice behaviors. Understanding individuals' food schemas could help nutrition professionals tailor messages to maximize health impact.
 
Article
Despite anecdotal reports of children being more sensitive to texture than adults, and of texture being one of the main drivers of food aversions, there is a paucity of scientific knowledge on the influence of texture perception on food choice in children. The primary goals of this study were to assess the use of a modified letter-identification task to study lingual tactile acuity, one aspect of oral sensitivity, in children and to examine age-related differences in sensitivity. The secondary goal was to explore whether lingual tactile acuity and age relate to various measures of food choice and preference. To this end, children 7-10 years old (31 girls, 21 boys) and their mothers were tested using identical procedures. To assess lingual tactile acuity, children and mothers were asked to use the tips of their tongues to identify raised alphabetical letters of varying size (2.5-8.0 mm) on Teflon strips. To relate lingual tactile acuity to food texture preferences, a forced-choice questionnaire assessed preferences for foods similar in flavor but different in texture (e.g., smooth versus crunchy peanut butter). Children were able to complete the lingual acuity task as well as their mothers and took less time to assess each letter stimulus (p < 0.001); however, there were no age-related differences in lingual acuity (p = 0.14). Age, but not lingual acuity, related to food texture preferences: mothers preferred harder foods (p < 0.001) and those containing more particles (p < 0.04) than did children, although children's preferences became more adult-like with increasing age. The availability of a rapid, child-friendly method for assessing oral sensitivity opens up new possibilities of examining differences in oral tactile perceptions across the life span. That food preferences changed with age and were not related to oral sensitivity underscores the fact that factors such as experience, culture and family food practices have a significant impact on children's food texture preferences.
 
Article
Bitterness is generally considered a negative attribute in food, yet many individuals enjoy some bitterness in products like coffee or chocolate. In chocolate, bitterness arises from naturally occurring alkaloids and phenolics found in cacao. Fermentation and roasting help develop typical chocolate flavor and reduce the intense bitterness of raw cacao by modifying these bitter compounds. As it becomes increasingly common to fortify chocolate with `raw' cacao to increase the amount of healthful phytonutrients, it is important to identify the point at which the concentration of bitter compounds becomes objectionable, even to those who enjoy some bitterness. Classical threshold methods focus on the presence or absence of a sensation rather than acceptability or hedonics. A new alternative, the rejection threshold, was recently described in the literature. Here, we sought to quantify and compare differences in Rejection Thresholds (RjT) and Detection Thresholds (DT) in chocolate milk spiked with a food safe bitterant (sucrose octaacetate). In experiment 1, a series of paired preference tests was used to estimate the RjT for bitterness in chocolate milk. In a new group of participants (experiment 2), we determined the RjT and DT using the forced choice ascending method of limits. In both studies, participants were segmented on the basis of self-declared preference for milk or dark solid chocolate. Based on sigmoid fits of the indifference-preference function, the RjT was ~2.3 times higher for those preferring dark chocolate than the RjT for those preferring milk chocolate in both experiments. In contrast, the DT for both groups was functionally identical, suggesting that differential effects of bitterness on liking of chocolate products are not based on the ability to detect bitterness in these products.
 
Article
A number of factors likely affect the liking of capsaicin-containing foods such as social influences, repeated exposure to capsaicin, physiological differences in chemosensation, and personality. For example, it is well known that repeated exposure to capsaicin and chilies can result in chronic desensitization. Here, we explore the relationship between multiple personality variables - body awareness/consciousness, sensation seeking, and sensitivity to punishment, and sensitivity to reward - and the liking and consumption of capsaicin-containing foods. As expected, a strong relationship was found between liking of spicy foods and frequency of chili consumption. However, no association was observed between frequency of chili consumption and the perceived burn/sting of sampled capsaicin. Nor was there any association between perceived burn/sting of capsaicin and any of the personality measures. Private Body Consciousness did not relate to any of the measures used in the current study. Sensation Seeking showed positive correlations with the liking of spicy foods, but not non-spicy control foods. Sensitivity to Punishment showed no relation with frequency of chili consumption, and nonsignificant negative trends with liking of spicy foods. Conversely, Sensitivity to Reward was weakly though significantly correlated with the liking of a spicy meal, and similar nonsignificant trends were seen for other spicy foods. Frequency of chili consumption was positively associated with Sensation Seeking and Sensitivity to Reward. Present data indicate individuals who enjoy spicy foods exhibit higher Sensation Seeking and Sensitivity to Reward traits. Rather than merely showing reduced response to the irritating qualities of capsaicin as might be expected under the chronic desensitization hypothesis, these findings support the hypothesis that personality differences may drive differences in spicy food liking and intake.
 
Article
The compound 1,8-cineole is known to elicit the perception of eucalyptus flavour. There is debate over whether eucalyptus flavour is positive or should be considered a taint in red wine. The current experiment measured a consumer rejection threshold (CRT) in red wine, using samples spiked with increasing concentrations of cineole. Results estimated the CRT in red wine at 27.5 ppb. Analysis of a post-experiment questionnaire suggested that preference for cineole is not significantly influenced by gender, age, level of experience or prior experience, though these results were based on a small sample. Results suggest that a moderate intensity of eucalyptus character in red wine should not be considered a taint and that some consumers may consider moderate intensities preferable to no eucalyptus character. The CRT determined allows quantitative decisions to be made in response to measured levels of cineole in red wine. Winemakers and wine marketers considering promoting eucalyptus character as a taste dimension in wine now have a quantitative basis on which to be guided.
 
Article
There is a paucity of data that describe the sensory attributes that influence the liking of foods by children. This is primarily due to the absence of appropriate methods. In this study 208 children aged 6–7 and 10–11 years of age used a three phase procedure to generate descriptors, measure their appropriateness and determine the attributes that predict liking of sausages, hamburgers, lamb chops and rump steak. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to generate models for predicting liking, and cross-validation and diagnostic procedures checked the validity, reliability and independence of the attributes that predicted liking. The data indicated that both groups of children could generate a rich array of descriptors that were appropriate for the products, and the profiles and predictive models were generally reproducible. Importantly, the attributes that influenced liking were different for the two age groups, with mouthfeel characteristics important for the younger group and taste/smell for the 10–11 year olds. Gender had little influence on liking, the exception being 10–11 year old females who liked sausages less than similarly aged males.
 
Article
Development of a method for determining which sensory factors influence liking of children for a product is needed by the food industry. The present study uses a one-step procedure and confines the semantics to understanding the meanings of the six main sensory modalities appearance, smell, taste, texture/mouthfeel, aftertaste and afterfeel that may influence liking of a product. Here the products investigated were lamb chops, sausages and rump steak. Regression analysis was used to generate models for predicting liking, and cross-validation and diagnostic procedures checked the validity, reliability and independence of the variables that predicted liking. The results indicated that taste was the major influence on liking for all three meats for 10–11 year olds, whilst the textural factors mouthfeel and afterfeel were the most important for the younger children for two of the meats. Gender had no influence on liking. Finally, the results indicate that children can be trained to use modalities as a means for generating sensory profiles of foods and that satisfactory models can be developed for predicting the attributes that determine liking for a product.
 
Article
Schutz and Cardello [Schutz, H. G. & Cardello, A. V. (2001). A labeled affective magnitude (LAM) scale for assessing food liking/disliking. Journal of Sensory Studies, 16, 117–159] proposed the labeled magnitude (LAM) scale for measuring food acceptance. The LAM is a line scale anchored at its end points with the phrases “greatest imaginable like” and “greatest imaginable dislike” and uses as intermediate anchors the nine phrases of the traditional hedonic scale. In this study, three hedonic scales were compared, including the widely-used 9-point hedonic scale, the LAM scale, and an 11-point category scale using the LAM’s verbal anchors as category labels. Three groups of consumers (N = about 100 each) used one of the three scales to evaluate the acceptability of highly liked foods (orange juices, potato chips, cookies, and ice cream, with four samples of each). Scales were evaluated primarily on their ability to show differences in acceptability, the correspondence of acceptance ratings to preference ranking and the correspondence of stated product usage (e.g., purchase of pulp vs. non-pulp orange juice) to the product scoring highest. All three scales performed equally well, with no one scale showing a consistent superiority over another. All three scales were able to differentiate acceptability of the orange juices, chips and cookies. No scale differentiated among the ice creams, which had equal and high acceptability. All scales showed a strong correspondence between liking and preference rankings and also between the product rated highest and the type of product usually consumed, within each of the product categories.
 
Article
In today's business environment, a continuous supply of novel products is essential to retaining competitive advantage. Consequently, the fruit industry is under pressure to develop new cultivars. The present study describes the application of preference mapping methodology to aid product development in the kiwifruit industry. Recently, a new yellow-fleshed, sweet and fruity flavoured cultivar of kiwifruit was launched on the marketplace. In this study, a comparison of consumer preferences for this new type of kiwifruit with that of the familiar green-fleshed and sweet-tart tasting kiwifruit was undertaken. Using fruit from eight different genotypes consumer preferences for these two distinctly different types of kiwifruit were explored. Acknowledging the problems associated with sensory evaluation of fruit like kiwifruit, which ripens rapidly, careful attention was given to ensuring optimum fruit quality and even ripeness of samples presented to consumers, as well as sensory panellists. A segmented population with respect to liking of yellow-fleshed kiwifruit genotypes was observed. Consumers’ acceptance of the yellow kiwifruit was not related to trait food neophobia.
 
Article
The study applied the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) to study the determinants of Swedish children's intentions and actual breakfast choices, the focus being upon healthy vs. unhealthy choices. Children from three age groups (10, 13, and 16 years) participated by completing a questionnaire based on the TPB and a 4-day diary of breakfast choices (total N = 218). For all food groups investigated, intentions were well-predicted (50–84% variability explained) principally by attitudes and in some cases subjective norms; perceived behavioural control was a significant predictor in only one out of six cases. Food choice as assessed by self-report diary was not well-predicted (2–38% of variability explained), being only moderately related to intentions and not at all to control.
 
The model for the 2AFC procedure. Note that the b criterion and s criterion are exactly equivalent for this procedure. The symmetry of the model hints at a simplified representation, which is illustrated in Fig. 5.
A simplified version of the 2AFC model illustrated in Fig. 4. This version is commonly given in textbooks and other publications. Note that the difference between the means of the distributions is ffiffiffi 2 p d 0 while the variance of the
The model for the 2AFCR procedure when the s decision strategy is assumed. 
Article
Signal Detection Theory provides an approach to modelling difference test procedures that allows an estimate of the sensory difference between products to be obtained independently of the response bias and decision strategy used by the judge, and of the test procedure used to estimate that difference. The estimate of sensory difference obtained, d′, is therefore much closer to a ‘true’ estimate of sensory difference than many other measures employed by sensory scientists. The methods used to generate models based on Signal Detection Theory are standard, and these methods are applied to the development of models for two test procedures (A Not-A and 2AFC) and their reminder equivalents (A Not-AR and 2AFCR). 2AFCR is procedurally identical to the duo-trio procedure with a constant reference; however, it is shown that there is more than one decision strategy available to the judge in this task.
 
Article
The Thurstone-Ura model of triangle and 3AFC judgements explains the greater statistical power of 3AFC tests compared with triangular tests, but its mathematical expression is abstract. However, if the subjective differences among samples are represented on isometric co-ordinates, it is possible to express a Thurstone model of the triangle and 3AFC tasks as a bivariate normal distribution divided into segments by straight lines representing optimal decision rules. The triangle and 3AFC have different optimal decision rules and hence different segment shapes, which account for the tests' different relationships between sensory acuity and the probability of making a correct response. The isometric representation makes the same predictions of these relationships as more abstract formulations but is much easier to represent graphically and to explain to non-specialists.
 
Article
The increase in public concern regarding food hazards and decline in public trust in food risk regulators suggests that there is a need to identify the actual concerns held by the public regarding specific food hazards in order to develop effective risk communication. In this paper we report the findings of semi-structured interviews, using the laddering technique, that aimed to identify the concerns held by the public with regard to five specific food hazards (BSE, genetic modification of food, high fat diets, pesticide residues in food and Salmonella food poisoning). It was found that most of the identified characteristics and concerns were unique to specific food hazards, though some were shared. The findings were supported in a validation study using a more representative sample of the public. The discussion argues that risk messages addressing these specific concerns will be more relevant to the public than general messages, which may lead to more effective risk communication.
 
Model.
Article
Main research question: the aim of the study was to investigate how perception about diet and health, eating habits and socioeconomic pattern influence choice of seafood. Materials and methods: a randomly drawn sample of Norwegian women aged 45–69 years answered a self-administrated mail questionnaire about eating habits, socioeconomic status, and questions related to health. There were 9407 women answered the questionnaire (response rate 52.5%). Findings: the mean level of seafood consumption was 2.7 times a week. Seafood consumption increased with (1) increasing belief in the idea that diet is important for health (2) using medicine for cardiovascular disease (3) other healthy eating habits (4) increasing age, (5) increasing household size, (6) decreasing family income, and (7) having residence in coastal areas. The growing consumption of fat fish is greater in central eastern Norway, while lean fish consumption is related to traditional food consumption. Processed fish consumption is related to consumption of other fast food. Conclusions and implications. seafood consumption is strongly related to consumption of three food groups: healthy food, fast food, and traditional food. The marginal benefit is high for health information and the marketing of seafood as healthy food, which fits into the current food lifestyle of consumption in all three food segments. Marketing implications are outlined.
 
Article
Consumer behaviour is being marked by changes in consumption trends. Hence, a knowledge and understanding of how consumers reflect key aspects of their personality in the products they purchase and consume is of vital importance to producers wishing to enhance their strategic position in the marketplace. The aim of this study is to investigate the consumption decision structure of beef, to assess the variation in complexity as a function of consumption levels. In order to meet these objectives, we designed a survey based on the means-end chain theory, using the laddering interview technique. The result shows that as consumers’ consumption levels increase, their decision-making processes become more complex, and therefore the reach higher levels of abstraction in the means-end chain. This reveals the incorporation of a greater number of abstract attributes (mainly credence attributes), psychological consequences and terminal values by consumers with higher consumption levels, who incorporate more personality traits into their decisions. Cultural identification and high self-esteem are the main components in the final choice of high-frequency beef consumers. The importance of price issues is apparent among occasional consumers. These findings can be used by firms within the beef sector in order to adapt marketing strategies to different consumption frequency segments.
 
Article
Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena is a typical Italian food product of protected denomination of origin, obtained by alcoholic fermentation and acetic bio-oxidation of cooked musts, and it is aged for at least 12 years in series of wooden casks. The product suitable for marketing is qualified by sensory examination on the whole of 13 sensory parameters.In this study, a series of six casks for each of seven different producers have been investigated by an expert Panel of eight judges, aiming at (i) assessing the degree of variability of the different sensorial attributes with samples ageing, and (ii) evaluating the similarity/dissimilarity among the various parameters together with the degree of agreement of the panellists.Given the three-way nature of the data (samples × panellists × sensory attributes) the PARAFAC method has been used, and a satisfactory model was obtained, highlighting the efficacy of three-way analysis in dealing with the different sources of data variability, extracting the relevant information and displaying it in a simple and interpretable manner.
 
Article
Taste discrimination and preference of loyal, heavy users of a popular fruit beverage were measured to support a cost reduction effort. The research objective was to determine the highest reduction level permissible without effecting a noticeable perceptual difference among heavy users of the beverage. Judgements of an internal employee panel were considered for predictions of loyal, heavy-user consumer response. Heavy users were defined as individuals who consumed the beverage at least once a week or more. Internal panel 2-AFC and consumer triangle, 2-AC, 2-AFC, and same-different discrimination results collected using the sip methodology were compared using d′ — a measure of the degree of sensory difference to: (1) support the cost reduction effort; (2) study the relationship between scale methods; and (3) examine and establish the relationship between internal and external consumer sip test results. Results of these combined studies showed that while the ingredient reduction was perceived as different even at the lowest levels of reduction and delivered negative implications at 100% reduction, a mid-reduction level was successful in satisfying consumer preference. In light of these findings, the action-decision criteria for moving forward with the cost-reduction reformulation was modified from ‘no perceivable difference’ to ‘parity or superior preference’. Results of these studies led to a successful cost-reduction of the beverage.
 
Article
Two experiments were conducted to investigate the suitability of the Thurstonian models for the 2-AFC (2-alternative forced choice) and 2-AC protocols (2-AFC test with a “no difference” option). The Thurstonian approach predicts that if the same subjects and products are used, the degree of difference measured between the products (d′) should be the same. Experiment I tested this prediction using solutions with different salt concentration. The average d′ values for the 2-AFC and 2-AC were found to be 1.66 and 1.54, respectively, and were not significantly different (t-test, p=0.46). This indicated the suitability of the models for a taste stimulus. Experiment II used a trigeminal stimulus: sparkling water with different CO2 levels as a food system. Three levels of carbonation were used and all three possible pairs of samples were compared. The d′ values measured for the 2-AFC and 2-AC for each pair of products were: pair 1––1.7 and 1.7; pair 2––0.8 and 0.7; pair 3––1.2 and 1.0. For each pair of products, no significant difference was observed between the d′ of each protocol (t-tests, p=0.65, 0.20, 0.30, respectively), giving further support to the Thurstonian models of these paradigms and indicating their robustness.
 
Article
A new research platform, namely the Institut Paul Bocuse's Food and Hospitality Research Centre has been presented during a one-day conference on June 20th 2008. This special section gathers a presentation of the Research Centre and its first projects followed by a series of papers from members of the scientific board. The presentations of the Institut projects and the presentations of the scientific board demonstrate the very wide breadth of research interest of the Institut Paul Bocuse. (c) 2009 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
 
Article
Ninety-two consumers judged the odour acceptability (yes or no) of regular (12·5% 18:3) and low linolenic acid (2·5% 18:3) canola oils which had been stored at 60°C for 21 and 42 days, respectively. For each storage day an average proportion of acceptance (APA) was calculated. Logistic regression analyses of storage days vs. APA yielded valid relationships for both oils. These equations permitted prediction of the number of days of accelerated storage for APA values from 0·4 to 0·8. The storage time to 0·5 APA, the consumer acceptance threshold, was 12·5 days for regular canola oil and 34·3 days for low linolenic acid canola oil, indicating substantially greater stability for the genetically modified caltivar. The frequency and character of free choice negative odour descriptors which were assigned to both oils at 0·5 APA were similar.
 
Article
pH and oxygen are usually considered as the main factors influencing the organoleptic stability of beer. Polyphenols from malt and hop contribute to several characteristics of beer flavor, but their incidence on astringency is rarely mentioned.In this work, effects of pH (3.0 and 5.0) and accelerated aging (0 or 5 days at 40 °C with low or high level of oxygen in the bottle) on astringency were measured by two sensory analysis methods: quantitative descriptive analysis and time–intensity analysis. In addition, the polymerization degree of polyphenols was determined for the different samples in this study. Whatever the sensory technique used, a trained panel showing high repeatability identified pH as the only factor having a significant effect on astringency. Accelerated aging, even with high level of oxygen in the bottle, does not significantly modify perception of this sensation compared with the 4 °C-stored beer, probably because the variation of polymerization degree of polyphenols was not sufficient to be detected by the panelists.
 
Article
The effect of nutritional information (fat and salt content) on the acceptance and perceived sensory attributes of a low-fat (40% vegetable fat), low-salt (0.7% NaCl) spread was studied among 50 subjects. Pleasantness, saltiness and melting rate in the mouth were rated without information, after 7 days' of home-use, and with information. The effect of information on ratings was studied before and after home-use. Subjects' concern about food and health was assessed by a background questionnaire. Nutritional information presented before the period of home-use increased the pleasantness and melting-rate ratings, while information presented after home-use did not significantly affect either pleasantness or sensory ratings. Concern about food and health had a positive effect on pleasantness ratings, and information had stronger impact on concerned subjects. Pleasantness or attribute intensity ratings did not change during the home-use period. The results indicate that information about the nutritional content of food affects hedonic ratings and perceived attribute intensities.
 
Article
Our objectives were to examine the relationship of aftertaste to milk disliking, characterize the aftertaste, examine several changes in milk (decreased pH, increased fat level, addition of sucrose, presence of light-induced oxidation) for their ability to alter the intensity/persistence of aftertastes, and determine whether people who dislike milk because of its aftertaste differ from milk likers in the amount they salivate or in their 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) taster status. We conducted focus groups with people who disliked milk. A descriptive analysis panel characterized the aftertaste of milk. Milk dislikers participated in a hedonic test of several altered milk samples and in a PROP taster test. Changes in the milks affected the aftertaste, but did not significantly affect hedonic ratings. PROP taster status of milk dislikers was dissimilar to the distributions reported for the United States population, with greater-than-expected numbers of PROP-sensitive individuals. Milk dislikers salivated relatively more in response to milk than did milk likers.
 
Article
The purpose of this study is to investigate the extent to which consumer information concerning the manufacturing processes of beer can influence how acceptable the product is to the consumer. In this study subjects were informed that the beer had been produced (1) using genetically modified yeast; (2) with organic barley and hops, and (3) using traditional brewing technology. Three products were selected to represent high, moderate and low acceptability. A blind evaluation of the selected samples was followed by an assessment of the subjects' expectations of the sample products based on the different information about product processing. The impact of these expectations on liking after tasting the product was examined and demonstrated that information regarding manufacturing technology is capable of modifying the consumers' liking of beer. The disconfirmation that occurred as a result of different product–information combinations revealed that liking moved towards their expectations (assimilation). However assimilation was not complete, indicating that sensory properties of products were important in determining perceived quality. Finally, the present study does not entirely confirm findings of previous research. Combining different information with different levels of product liking may lead to a better understanding of the asymmetry of disconfirmation.
 
Article
Consumer product acceptability trials can be carried out at the company premises, at a central location (hall) test, or by home test. This paper addresses some of the issues associated with data collected by different types of consumer panels. It looks at consistency of results over the test methods, considering also repeatability of individual consumer judgements.Results indicated similarities and differences between the three data collection procedures. It was found that consumers across the panels were more sure of what they did not like, than what they did. Using the coefficient of variation to measure the repeatability of consumer judgements revealed that, overall, consumers were reliable over a short period of time, with likelihood of purchase proving more variable than the appearance, flavour and texture acceptability measures. The sample that provided the most consistent judgements was the same for both the home and hall test, and was one of the most liked samples. The least consistent samples were also the least liked samples overall. As expected, the likelihood of purchase measurements were less consistent overall than the other acceptability attributes.The preference maps derived from each method, while showing some similarities, would lead to different conclusions, and potentially different decisions being taken in a commercial environment.
 
Article
The paper aims at studying consumers’ acceptability of cured ham. A Double Censored Tobit is applied, in order to first, evaluate to what extent the information conveyed by an array of observable characteristics (origin, quality certification label, brand and breed) affects consumers’ hedonic valuation of cured ham in both, blind and informed experimental conditions; and second, estimate the influence of some individuals’ traits on their preference towards specific ham attributes. In particular, we study if personal rooting in the region and store loyalty leads to a better hedonic valuation of regionally produced ham and store brands, respectively. Iberian breed and the own regional origin are the most influential attributes in blind and informed scores, while a foreign origin is further penalized when recognized. The Quality Certification Label (PDO, PGI or TSG) conveys valuable information to consumers only in some specific cases (ej. PDO Teruel), while the Distributors’ brand, when attached to superior quality categories, has a higher impact on overall liking than a Producers’ brand. The cognitive component of the origin Teruel as a cue for quality prevails over the affective component while no relationship has been found between store loyalty and the hedonic valuation of store brand.
 
Article
Focus group interviews were performed to explore which characteristics drive consumer acceptance of pasta. A questionnaire was used to evaluate the consumer expectations of the product generated by the brand name. Consumer tests were performed in two different experimental conditions (blind and informed) to evaluate whether the knowledge of brand name affects consumer perception or not. Discrepancy between expected and blind preference ratings was found, suggesting that disconfirmation of expectations occurred for some brands. Hedonic ratings were different in blind and informed test, proving a significant effect of brand information on liking. Consumers generally moved their ratings towards expectation, revealing an assimilation effect.Experimental results showed also that the knowledge of brand name did not affect sensory attributes perception suggesting that, for dried pasta, the expectations generated by the brand name are essentially of the hedonic-based type.
 
Summary of the finding of the psychophysical studies. (a) aspartame concentration vs. mean sweetness intensity. (b) Log aspartame concentration vs. log mean perceived sweetness intensity. (c) Pulp concentration vs. mean perceived pulpiness. (d) Pulp content vs. mean perceived orange flavour. 
PC1 and PC2 of the principal component analysis of the descriptive profile of the orange juice samples. 
PC2 and PC3 of the principal component analysis of the descriptive profile of the orange juice samples. 
Principal component analysis (PCA) of the two age cohorts (older and younger consumer) liking response. 
Partial least squares regression (PLSR) of the descriptive profiling data and the liking scores for (a) younger assessors, (b) O1 (older assessors with a similar liking trend to the younger group), (c) O2 (older assessors with liking for the samples higher in sensory stimulation) and (d) older assessors that did not discriminate the juices based on their preference decision. 
Article
Chemosensory acuity decreases with increasing chronological age, although not all senses decrease in acuity to the same extent. Through an improved understanding of the perceptual capabilities of the residual senses and the relative contribution each makes to an acceptance decision, it is possible to understand the sensory limitations of older consumers and devise compensation strategies to combat chemosensory loss.A commercially available orange juice was modified using aspartame, orange cells and capsaicin to provide varied levels of “sweetness”, “pulpiness” and “prickle/heat”. Perceptual differences for each attribute were established through studying concentration response functions using psychophysical techniques with a panel (N=20) of objective sensory assessors. These results were used to produce 18 orange juice samples, using a 3 × 3 × 2 factorial design of variations to the three stimuli, which were assessed using descriptive analysis by a panel (N=6) of trained sensory assessors. The resulting perceptual map of the product differences was used to select eight orange juice samples varied in “sweetness” (50, 400 ppm), “pulpiness” (0, 10% w/v) and “prickle” (0, 0.02 ppm) for acceptability testing with younger (N=48) and older (N=52) consumers. All participants were first tested for their sensitivity to sensory stimuli (taste, smell, irritation and texture perception). Participants were then requested to provide an overall measure of liking using a labelled affective magnitude scale. The acceptance measures showed differences between the two age groups as the younger assessors based their liking decisions on the predominant chemosensory attributes while the older assessors were more heterogeneous with some incorporating textural influences into their liking decision. To understand the attributes driving the liking the older assessors were divided into three groups based on their distribution on the preference map and partial least squares regression (PLS) was used to relate the sensory profile of the juices to the liking measures. Comparison of the groups revealed that the younger assessors selected against high aspartame and capsaicin levels, while the older assessors were more heterogeneous in their liking. Some of the older consumers that preferred higher levels of sensory stimulation (“sweetness” and “prickle”) tended to have lower sensitivity than the other groups across a range of sensitivity measures. The results show the diverse nature of the older consumer segment and demonstrate a possible role for increased textural and irritant sensation in compensating for chemosensory loss.
 
Article
The Ethiopian traditional bread (injera) is normally consumed with stew (wot). Tef (Eragrostis tef) is the favourite and most expensive grain used for making injera. Injera made from tef, maize, sorghum and barley was evaluated for sensory panel responses with and without stewed chicken (doro-wot) by preference and difference tests, respectively. Fresh sorghum injera and maize injera were not significantly different in flavour or preference from tef injera. However, tef injera was clearly preferred over other injera types.
 
Article
Hedonic tests are routinely used in the food industry to assess the acceptance of food products. The 9-point hedonic scale has been the tool of choice for the last 50 years. However, this scale is essentially available in an English version and accordingly has been translated to several languages for use in non-English speaking countries to allow its use in different countries. This work attempted to devise an Arabic version of the 9-point hedonic scale. It consisted of three main experiments. In the first one, a list of 46 Arabic descriptors (including positive, neutral and negative words) were evaluated on a 9-point scale with 502 subjects, who were selected based on quota sampling of the Lebanese population by age and education. The subjects gave each descriptor a rating on a −4 to +4 scale. From these 46 descriptors, four different Arabic scales were developed: two 7-point scales, and two 9-point scales. In the second experiment, 95 subjects rated their acceptance of 40 non-tasted foods by using the developed scales in Experiment 1. Statistical analyses showed that one of the 9-point scales was more reliable and more sensitive than the other scales. In the third experiment, the best Arabic 9-point scale was compared to the English one by testing the acceptance of 20 non-tasted and five tasted foods with 74 panelists. Results showed that there was no significant difference between the two scales in terms of reliability and sensitivity.
 
Article
Acceptability of tomato fruit flavour was investigated. To vary flavour, contents of glucose, fructose and citric acid were added to diced fruit, resulting a range of 3 to 8 g reducing sugars/100 FM and 430–700 mg titratable acid/100 g FM. Significant sweetness and sourness changes were determined by descriptive analysis, tomato-like flavour remained unchanged. Consumer tests with children aged 7–11 years were used to rate flavour acceptability. Most accepted combinations of acid and sugar were identified (4.5–6.5 g sugar/100 g FM; 540–640 mg acid/100 g FM). Cluster analysis allowed to separate three clusters with different response to sugars and acid concentrations. Forty five percent of the children did not respond, 30% liked low sugar concentrations (<3 g/100 g FM) most, 25% preferred ≈6.5 g/100 g FM at a wide range of acid concentrations. There was little evidence of differences with respect to gender, age, body weight and length between the cluster members, but the liking of sweet and acidic solutions differed.
 
Article
Tomato sauce, meat, cheese, and butter (recipe variable), and product names (name variable) from four pasta samples were manipulated to study their effects on the ratings of perceived ethnicity and acceptability by British subjects. The addition of an Italian name significantly increased perceived Italian ethnicity and lowered British ethnicity. Adding meat and/or cheese increased British ethnicity. Changing recipes was more effective than adding Italian names for increasing hedonic responses for these items. The development of a perceived ethnicity scale for use in studies of ethnic food identification is discussed.
 
Article
Consumer acceptance of food and beverage was measured after modifying four key factors or `context effects' in five consumer central location tests: its function as a meal component, social interaction during consumption, the physical environment in which the food is selected and consumed, and food choice. One of two flavor variations each of salad, pizza and iced tea were served. Acceptance ratings and self-reported food intake were obtained from consumers. In Tests 1–5, context effects were added sequentially, so that by Test 5 all context effects were present. Sixth test served as a comparison to `real life' and took place at a local restaurant. Our hypothesis was that product acceptability would increase with the addition of the various context effects. Meal context had the strongest positive effect on tea; social context had a strong negative effect on pizza; environment had a weak but positive effect on pizza and tea and a negative effect on salad; and choice had a positive effect on salad. These results suggest that context variables do affect product acceptance, but that the relationship between context effect and consumer acceptance may not be consistent within and across meal components.
 
Article
In order to investigate whether high-protein medium-fat diets (HP) with larger relative content of high-status foods such as meat are more socially and culturally acceptable than high-carbohydrate medium-fat diets (HC) a survey was conducted among participants (overweight men and women 18–56 y) in a strictly controlled dietary intervention in Denmark. Questionnaires were distributed at baseline, and at six and 12 months after start of intervention trial. Health and well-being improved during trial independent of diet group. However, in both groups, participants missed foods which were restricted in their own diet (carbohydrate-rich foods and protein-rich foods respectively) whereas difference in satisfaction with amount of fatty foods was not significant.The study suggests that in spite of higher amount of high-status foods, high-protein medium-fat diets are no more acceptable than high-carbohydrate medium-fat diets. Both deviate from cultural norms for meal formats and dietary composition and may therefore be difficult to comply with in a long-term perspective. Health programmes promoting dietary change must address cultural norms about meal structures.
 
Article
This study aimed to evaluate the effect of meal accompaniments on the acceptability and sensory attribute liking for a mayonnaise enriched with walnut oil, in the presence and absence of a health claim. Through focus group interviews we chose the foods to accompany the mayonnaise and the terminology to provide the health claim to subjects during the subsequent consumer test. During the first phase of the consumer test, the subjects responded to some questions about their food habits and evaluated three samples of mayonnaise with different contents of walnut oil without any information. During the second phase, the subjects were divided into two homogeneous groups and evaluated the samples associated to three different foods. The informed group tasted the samples accompanied by the health claim, the control group without any information. When the meal accompaniments were hamburger or French fries, acceptability of mayonnaise increased, whereas boiled squid rings had a negative effect on acceptability. The health claim did not affect the average consumer response.
 
Article
Twenty-nine laboratory taste tests were conducted, each with from 27 to 38 consumers. During each test, one or more food products were tested for preference/acceptability and then rated for their appropriateness in 10 different use situations. Additional tests were conducted to assess any biasing effect of collecting the appropriateness data on the obtained acceptance ratings and the applicability of appropriateness scaling to conceptual products. Results indicated that: (1) appropriateness ratings had very similar patterns for products that varied little in basic physical properties that might influence use; (2) there were significant differences among products in their appropriateness ratings for certain use situations, enabling useful distinction of the products; (3) products that did not differ in preference/acceptability had significant differences in their appropriateness for certain food use situations; (4) the testing procedure was equally effective for use with actual and conceptual products; and (5) there was no evidence of a preference-appropriateness interaction effect. It is concluded that appropriateness ratings can be obtained in taste tests without jeopardizing the validity of preference/ acceptability judgments. In addition, appropriateness judgments obtained as part of routine sensory evaluation can provide valuable information to guide product development and to maximize product utility in the intended use situation.
 
Article
Acceptability and actual choice of cured ham is investigated combining hedonic valuations and actual purchase information of a sample of Spanish consumers. Main methods of analysis include internal preference mapping, cluster (k-means and agglomerative hierarchical), and bivariate association measures (chi-square, two- and one-way ANOVA). Three market segments are identified with distinct acceptability patterns which in turn are found to be associated with rather consistent purchasing behaviours and specific socio-demographic traits.
 
Article
We measured people’s choice and changes in choice of three types of tea, each at a low and an optimum level of sweetness. Twenty-eight tea drinkers participated in an initial taste test session and 20 additional consumption sessions. During the first session they tasted the six tea samples, ranked them in order of preference, and otherwise familiarized themselves with the samples prior to the long-term experiment. In each of the 20 consumption sessions they selected a tea, drank it, rated how well they liked it, how tired they were of it, and their satisfaction with having chosen it. We observed four choice patterns: constant-switcher, acquired-liker, non-switcher, and systematic-switcher. Over the 20 sessions the liking of the low-sweet tea increased and the tiredness ratings of the optimum-sweet tea increased. These changes, however, did not increase the frequency with which they chose the low sweet teas. Initial liking significantly predicted choice for about half the panelists.
 
Article
Three different classes of variables, namely the food, individual and situation, contribute to the appreciation of food. A dish, Chicken à la King and Rice, prepared from identical ingredients and to a standard recipe, was served to consumers in a variety of settings ranging from a residential home for the elderly to a 4-star restaurant. Local custom and procedures for the service and consumption of the dish were observed and diners asked to rate its acceptability. Results show that location contributed significantly (P<0.009) to overall acceptability. A hierarchy of locations emerge with upscale restaurants receiving higher scores than institutional settings. Gender did not appear to contribute to the variance although, in general, younger people tended to give lower ratings.
 
Article
The main objective of this paper was to study acceptance of yoghurt with different levels of two specific sensory attributes, sweetness and richness, when corresponding information about sugar and fat content was given simultaneously with tasting. A conjoint design was applied to examine the effects of intrinsic attributes (sensory) and extrinsic attributes (health information) on acceptability and purchase probability for calorie-reduced vanilla yoghurt. Based on sensory profiling of 12 yoghurts produced according to an experimental design, four yoghurts varying in sweetness and richness were selected. In the conjoint study this sensory variation was combined with information concerning fat content and sugar content. 153 health conscious consumers participated in a blind testing and a conjoint study. Analyses of variance showed that sweetness and information about sugar content had significant effects on liking and purchase probability. The study showed that conjoint methodology was an appropriate tool to reveal effects of extrinsic and intrinsic product attributes.
 
Article
The objective of this study was to evaluate effects of information about reduced salt content, prolonged aging time and new origin on the acceptance of dry-cured ham. The study was carried out in Norway and origins of tested hams were Norway and Spain. Consumers’ acceptance of hams was investigated in blind, expected and informed conditions. Results showed that ratings in the informed condition changed in the direction of the expectations and significant assimilation effects occurred for two products. Two consumer clusters were identified. Consumers in the first cluster were more open to trying new kinds of food and this attitude was exemplified by a relatively high expected score for dry-cured ham with reduced salt level, long aging and Spanish origin. Consumers in the second cluster were more sceptical to new food and new dishes. This was reflected in a relatively high expected score for the traditional Norwegian ham with high salt level and short aging time.
 
Article
Two sous vide dishes, bolognaise meat sauce and chicken tikka masala which were processed at 70°C for 900 min and 90°C for 45 min, respectively, were stored at 1.5°C and assessed at regular intervals up to 40 days storage. Trained quantitative descriptive analysis panels and laboratory consumer panels indicated that the products largely retained their level of sensory quality and acceptance throughout the 40 days. The sous vide process can, therefore, produce perceived “fresh”, convenient, high quality refrigerated foods of extended durability.
 
Article
Consumers appear to be cautious about accepting novel technologies applied to foods because of perceived risks and lack of benefits. Text descriptions of novel technologies were tested at four locations around Australia on 453 prawn consumers. Half of the participants (Information treatment group) received additional information about the technologies. A conjoint study was undertaken with additional responses to questions on perceived risks, benefits, need, unnaturalness and safety of the technologies (beliefs). Recognition of the additional information was tested by an open question at the end of the task.Information treatment did not influence responses. Participants were segmented by the sum of their beliefs. Those (mostly male), classified with strong positive beliefs (15%), placed on average, less importance upon technology but an equal amount on cost and size of the product concepts. For those (mostly female), classified with strong negative beliefs (17%), technology was of greater average importance, with a greater range of (dis)utilities across the technologies. All participants favoured regular prawns to those treated with novel technologies although one technology (Triploidy) did receive relatively positive utilities possibly related to information that triploidy is sometimes “found in nature” and results in larger prawns. Generally, addressing “information deficit” did not overcome aversion to novel technologies applied to food concepts.
 
Article
Individual variation in the perception of saccharin has been related to genetic sensitivity to the bitterness of 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP). But, data on other intense sweeteners are sparse, particularly when tasted in real foods. The objectives of this study were (1) to identify the sensory attributes of intense sweeteners that influenced perception and acceptability of citrus-flavored model soft drinks and (2) to investigate the influence of PROP taster status on these responses. The sweeteners were: 10% and 8% high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) (controls), sucralose (SUC), aspartame (ASP), acesulfame-K (ACE), ASP/ACE and SUC/ACE. Twenty-nine PROP non-tasters (NT) and 30 PROP super-tasters (ST) rated nine attributes for intensity and liking. Data were analyzed using principal component analysis (PCA). The sweeteners were described in three dimensions. Factor 1 was a bitter-citrus contrast for which overall liking was associated with higher citrus impact and lower bitterness. Factors 2 and 3 were related to overall flavor and carbonation, respectively. The sensory profiles of ASP, ASP/ACE and SUC were most similar to 10% HFCS. SUC/ACE was more bitter and less acceptable than 10% HFCS; ACE was the most bitter and was liked the least. PCA also revealed that NT placed more emphasis on the perception of sweetness and citrus flavor (Factor 1; 37% variance), whereas ST tasters placed more emphasis on bitterness (Factor 1; 43% variance). Liking was uniquely related to lower bitterness for NT. For ST, liking was negatively related to bitterness and weakly positively related to persistence of sweetness. These data suggest that ST experience intense sweeteners differently than NT but these differences play a minor role in soft drink acceptance.
 
Article
The consumer preference of Hunter Valley Semillon (HVS) with varying amounts of glucose was investigated. The respondents were divided into three categories; novice (consumer), experienced (consumer) and winemakers. Experienced drinkers preferred wines with less added glucose than did the novice group. Winemakers preferred a lower level of glucose addition again. This study has also defined levels of residual sugar within which winemakers can aim to produce wine in order to fulfil the desires of the consumer, allowing winemaking decisions for residual sugar levels to be quantitatively based.
 
Article
There is some agreement in the food policy literature in that inception of genetic modification (GM) techniques in food production conveys both opportunities and risks which are found to differ across heterogeneous populations, which calls for a better understanding of behavioural responses to risk and benefit information . One of the major limitations of previous behavioural research lies in taking into account food values and trust in information sources in a way that causality is accounted for. This paper contributes to the literature by examining the behavioural process that drives individual’s perceptions of GM food taking advantage of an empirical choice methodology that corrects for endogeneity in decision making relationships, namely structural equation modelling. We report the results of an empirical application to conceptualise food decision making in three specific Mediterranean countries, namely Spain, Italy and Greece. Our first major finding indicates that public attitudes toward GM food are being formed from a reasoning mechanism that departs from trust in science and in public authorities, ultimately determining consumer’s final purchasing decisions. Our second important finding suggests marked differences in the reasoning mechanism that lead to the acceptance of GM food in the three countries examined suggesting different food communication strategies to each culture.
 
Top-cited authors
Wim Verbeke
  • Ghent University
Sara R Jaeger
  • Plant and Food Research
Charles Spence
  • University of Oxford
Liisa Lähteenmäki
  • Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
Pascal Schlich
  • French National Institute for Agriculture, Food, and Environment (INRAE)