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Development of a sensory wheel and lexicon for chocolate

Sara De Pelsmaeker (UGent) , Gil De Clercq (UGent) , Xavier Gellynck (UGent) and Joachim Schouteten (UGent)
(2019) FOOD RESEARCH INTERNATIONAL. 116. p.1183-1191
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Abstract
Cocoa is one of the most important cultivated crops worldwide both in production and processing. But due to the change in weather conditions, pest and diseases, producers are looking into new bean varieties and alternatives (e.g. carob) which can influence the sensory properties of chocolate. But also the other ingredients, the production process and storage conditions play a role in the sensory properties of chocolate products. Although chocolate has been widely used as a product for scientific research, especially given its association with the arousal of pleasure by consumers, there is a lack of a sensory lexicon of chocolate products generated by consumers. This study aims to identify sensory characteristics with respect to the four sensory modalities (appearance, aroma, texture and flavour), which are important for chocolate consumption and visualize them in a chocolate sensory wheel. Five focus groups with consumers (n = 48) generated in total 104 descriptors using a range of white (5 different samples), milk (8 different samples) and dark (9 different samples) chocolate samples. A three-tiered chocolate sensory wheel, comprising the 4 sensory modalities, 21 categories and 61 descriptors, was created to form a graphical presentation of the sensory lexicon. Based on the descriptors obtained from the five focus groups, in total nine commercial samples of white, milk and dark chocolate were characterised using descriptive analysis by a trained sensory panel. The results of the descriptive analysis show that samples can be differentiated based on the attributes of the sensory lexicon. Given that identifying, understanding and using the most important sensory characteristics is crucial for companies but also for scientists using chocolate products, this chocolate sensory lexicon will be of added value in new product development and quality assurance.
Keywords
chocolate, sensory lexicon, sensory wheel, focus group, descriptive analysis, consumer, STANDARDIZED SYSTEM, VOLATILE COMPOUNDS, COCOA, WINE, OILS, FAT, TEA

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Chicago
De Pelsmaeker, Sara, Gil De Clercq, Xavier Gellynck, and Joachim Schouteten. 2019. “Development of a Sensory Wheel and Lexicon for Chocolate.” Food Research International 116: 1183–1191.
APA
De Pelsmaeker, Sara, De Clercq, G., Gellynck, X., & Schouteten, J. (2019). Development of a sensory wheel and lexicon for chocolate. FOOD RESEARCH INTERNATIONAL, 116, 1183–1191.
Vancouver
1.
De Pelsmaeker S, De Clercq G, Gellynck X, Schouteten J. Development of a sensory wheel and lexicon for chocolate. FOOD RESEARCH INTERNATIONAL. 2019;116:1183–91.
MLA
De Pelsmaeker, Sara et al. “Development of a Sensory Wheel and Lexicon for Chocolate.” FOOD RESEARCH INTERNATIONAL 116 (2019): 1183–1191. Print.
@article{8598079,
  abstract     = {Cocoa is one of the most important cultivated crops worldwide both in production and processing. But due to the change in weather conditions, pest and diseases, producers are looking into new bean varieties and alternatives (e.g. carob) which can influence the sensory properties of chocolate. But also the other ingredients, the production process and storage conditions play a role in the sensory properties of chocolate products. Although chocolate has been widely used as a product for scientific research, especially given its association with the arousal of pleasure by consumers, there is a lack of a sensory lexicon of chocolate products generated by consumers. 
This study aims to identify sensory characteristics with respect to the four sensory modalities (appearance, aroma, texture and flavour), which are important for chocolate consumption and visualize them in a chocolate sensory wheel. Five focus groups with consumers (n = 48) generated in total 104 descriptors using a range of white (5 different samples), milk (8 different samples) and dark (9 different samples) chocolate samples. A three-tiered chocolate sensory wheel, comprising the 4 sensory modalities, 21 categories and 61 descriptors, was created to form a graphical presentation of the sensory lexicon. Based on the descriptors obtained from the five focus groups, in total nine commercial samples of white, milk and dark chocolate were characterised using descriptive analysis by a trained sensory panel. The results of the descriptive analysis show that samples can be differentiated based on the attributes of the sensory lexicon. 
Given that identifying, understanding and using the most important sensory characteristics is crucial for companies but also for scientists using chocolate products, this chocolate sensory lexicon will be of added value in new product development and quality assurance.},
  author       = {De Pelsmaeker, Sara and De Clercq, Gil and Gellynck, Xavier and Schouteten, Joachim},
  issn         = {0963-9969},
  journal      = {FOOD RESEARCH INTERNATIONAL},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {1183--1191},
  title        = {Development of a sensory wheel and lexicon for chocolate},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2018.09.063},
  volume       = {116},
  year         = {2019},
}

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