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Lexicon for the sensory description of French bread in Japan

Hayakawa, Fumiyo, Ukai, Naoko, Nishida, Junji, Kazami, Yukari, Kohyama, Kaoru
Journal of sensory studies 2010 v.25 no.1 pp. 76-93
breads, cluster analysis, consumer acceptance, flavor, odors, principal component analysis, product development, sensory evaluation, taste, texture, Japan
A lexicon for describing the sensory attributes of French bread was developed. A panel of experts generated 187 expressions by a sensory evaluation of 24 bread samples from different bakeries. Of these expressions, 96 terms were selected as candidates for the lexicon. The panelists participated in a sensory evaluation of 14 bread samples according these 96 descriptors in accordance with ISO 11035. A principal component analysis and cluster analysis revealed that the 96 terms could be classified into 23 groups. The lexicon consisting of 23 terms (11 for appearance, five for aroma, one for taste and six for texture) was then made up by selecting a representative term for each cluster and determining a suitable definition and reference. The lexicon was verified against 23 samples prepared under various conditions in the laboratory by a sensory evaluation. The results show that all of the 23 descriptors were useful to differentiate the sensory qualities of French bread samples. Selecting and defining descriptors is a critical step in a descriptive sensory analysis. A well-developed lexicon helps sensory researchers to conduct a precise sensory analysis. Fine-quality French bread has a good appearance, aroma, flavor and texture; therefore, French bread needs to be evaluated for all these factors. The lexicon for French bread developed in this study proved useful in the precise descriptive analysis of French bread found in Japan, with potential applications to the description of French bread in other countries. The lexicon will contribute to the development of products that match consumer acceptability, and also be useful in basic research.