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A three-step sensory-based approach to maximize consumer acceptability for new low-sugar licorice-chocolate-flavored milk drink

Azami, Tayebe, Niakousari, Mehrdad, Hashemi, Seyed Mohammad Bagher, Torri, Luisa
Lebensmittel-Wissenschaft + [i.e. und] Technologie 2018 v.91 pp. 375-381
acidity, beverages, chocolate milk, cocoa powder, cold storage, color, consumer acceptance, functional properties, licorice, microbial growth, milk, pH, sucrose
Licorice has many functional characteristics. The present study aimed to 1) develop a new flavored dairy beverage containing licorice extract powder (LEP) and cocoa powder (CP); 2) maximize the consumer acceptability of the beverage, using a three-step sensory-based approach, and 3) verify the physicochemical and microbial stability of the beverage during refrigerated storage. In the first step, 16 formulae containing four CP:LEP ratios (0.85:0.15, 0.70:0.30, 0.55:0.45, 0.40:0.60) and four sucrose levels (2, 4, 6, 8 g 100 g−1), and a control sample (chocolate milk), were evaluated by a liking test. Second, the three formulations that obtained the highest liking scores were assessed, using a preference ranking test. Third, a second liking test was performed on the significantly most preferred formulation (CP:LEP, 0.70:0.30; sucrose, 6 g 100 g−1) and three of its variants. Based on the sensory results, the milk drink was optimized at 0.65:0.35 CP:LEP and 5% sugar. During 14 days at 4 °C, the optimum drink formula showed no significant changes in acidity, pH and microbial growth and a significantly higher color and sedimentation stability than the control. Consequently, licorice showed promising potential to be used in the formulation of acceptable functional milk products, such as low-sugar flavored drinks.