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Comparison of a trained sensory panel and an electronic tongue in the assessment of bitter dairy protein hydrolysates

Newman, J., Harbourne, N., O’Riordan, D., Jacquier, J.C., O’Sullivan, M.
Journal of food engineering 2014 v.128 pp. 127-131
bitterness, caffeine, casein, dairy protein, electronic tongue, foods, hydrolysates, protein hydrolysates, screening, sensory evaluation, taste, whey
The bitter taste elicited by dairy protein hydrolysates (DPH) is a well known issue for their acceptability by consumers and therefore incorporation into foods. The traditional method of assessment of taste in foods is by sensory analysis but this can be problematic due to the overall unpleasantness of the samples. Thus, there is a growing interest into the use of electronic tongues (e-tongues) as an alternative method to quantify the bitterness in such samples. In the present study the response of the e-tongue to the standard bitter agent caffeine and a range of both casein and whey based hydrolysates was compared to that of a trained sensory panel.Partial least square regression (PLS) was employed to compare the response of the e-tongue and the sensory panel. There was strong correlation shown between the two methods in the analysis of caffeine (R2 of 0.98) and DPH samples with R2 values ranging from 0.94 to 0.99. This study exhibits potential for the e-tongue to be used in bitterness screening in DPHs to reduce the reliance on expensive and time consuming sensory panels.