Sensory Perception - Articles and news items

Sensory Science supplement 2015

Issue 3 2015, Supplements  •  30 June 2015  •  New Food magazine

In this supplement: Sensory and analytical relationships in cocoa-based products; improving the sensory characteristics of whole wheat pasta; developing ASTM standards for sensory evaluation; and a preview of the 11th Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium…

Assessing the influence of shape and sound symbolism on the consumer’s response to chocolate

Issue 2 2014  •  1 May 2014  •  Charles Spence, Crossmodal Research Laboratory, Oxford University

The new rounded Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate bar has got many consumers agitated because they say it tastes sweeter than the original more rectangular bar. But the company says that the formulation hasn’t changed. Who is right? This furore can perhaps be explained with reference to the literature on shape symbolism. People associate sweetness with roundness and angularity with bitterness, hence making a traditionally rectangular food rounder may alter the perceived taste by priming notions of sweetness in the consumer’s mind. When taken together with the emerging literature on sound symbolic brand naming, it would appear that the confectionary market could learn a trick or two from the psychology lab.

The role of microstructure in texture perception

Issue 2 2011  •  13 May 2011  •  Fred van de Velde & H. Jan Klok, NIZO Protein Centre, NIZO food research and Tristan Laundon & E. Allen Foegeding, North Carolina State University, Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences

Foods are eaten not only for their nutritional value but also for the pleasure of eating. Food producers reformulate their products to comply with consumer trends on fat, salt and sugar reduction as well as to reduce the number of additives. The number one goal is to maintain consumer acceptance. Understanding the role and interactions of ingredients in the texture and stability of foods is of key importance to develop improved food products. This article describes the role of microstructure in understanding the ingredient functionality in food products.

Composite food products are complex products composed of a wide range of ingredients. The three main ingredients (also called macronutrients) are proteins, carbohydrates and fats/oils. The type or origin of the ingredients, their concentrations and the applied processing determines the final product properties and sensory profile. For example, milk can be transformed into different products such as yoghurt, cheese, butter and desserts just by changing processing and ingredients.


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