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Sensory profiles and consumer acceptability of a range of sugar-reduced products on the UK market

Markey, O., Lovegrove, J. A. and Methven, L. (2015) Sensory profiles and consumer acceptability of a range of sugar-reduced products on the UK market. Food Research International, 72. pp. 133-139. ISSN 0963-9969

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.foodres.2015.03.012

Abstract/Summary

Current UK intake of non-milk extrinsic sugars (NMES) is above recommendations. Reducing the sugar content of processed high sugar foods through reformulation is one option for reducing consumption of NMES at a population level. However, reformulation can alter the sensory attributes of food products and influence consumer liking. This study evaluated consumer acceptance of a selection of products that are commercially-available in the UK; these included regular and sugar-reduced baked beans, strawberry jam, milk chocolate, cola and cranberry & raspberry juice. Sweeteners were present in the reformulated chocolate (maltitol), cola (aspartame and acesulfame-K) and juice (sucralose) samples. Healthy, non-smoking consumers (n = 116; 55 men, 61 women, age: 33 ± 9 years; BMI: 25.7 ± 4.6 kg/m2) rated the products for overall liking and on liking of appearance, flavor and texture using a nine-point hedonic scale. There were significant differences between standard and reduced sugar products in consumers’ overall liking and on liking of each modality (appearance, flavor and texture; all P < 0.0001). For overall liking, only the regular beans and cola were significantly more liked than their reformulated counterparts (P < 0.0001). Cluster analysis identified three consumer clusters that were representative of different patterns of consumer liking. For the largest cluster (cluster 3: 45%), there was a significant difference in mean liking scores across all products, except jam. Differences in liking were predominantly driven by sweet taste in 2 out of 3 clusters. The current research has demonstrated that a high proportion of consumers prefer conventional products over sugar-reduced products across a wide range of product types (45%) or across selected products (27%), when tasted unbranded, and so there is room for further optimization of commercial reduced sugar products that were evaluated in the current study. Future work should evaluate strategies to facilitate compliance to dietary recommendations on NMES and free sugars, such as the impact of sugar-reduced food exposure on their acceptance.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences > Human Nutrition Research Group
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences > Food Research Group
ID Code:39481
Uncontrolled Keywords:Artificial sweeteners, Consumer acceptance, Sensory profile, Sugar, Sugar- 53 reduced products, Sugar reformulation
Publisher:Elsevier

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