Main content area

Correlation of consumer perception of stickiness and contributing texture attributes to trained panelist temporal evaluations in a caramel system

Mayhew, Emily J., Schmidt, Shelly J., Schlich, Pascal, Lee, Soo-Yeun
Food quality and preference 2018 v.65 pp. 72-80
consumer attitudes, decision making, sensation, stickiness, texture
Stickiness is a critical, but complex attribute with relevance to many food systems. Consumer perception of stickiness is subjective and variable; however, stickiness ratings and texture insights from trained panels are often used to make decisions about consumer products. Our objectives were to correlate trained panel evaluations to consumer perception of stickiness and to identify texture attributes that contribute to stickiness. Nine diverse caramel samples were assessed by two panels. First, trained panelists participated in texture term generation, Temporal Dominance of Sensation (TDS), and tactile and oral stickiness intensity rating. Next, 75 consumers participated in a two-part test: first, they completed a Check-All-That-Apply (CATA) exercise with the TDS panel-generated terms; second, they rated each sample for overall tactile and oral stickiness intensity. Trained panelist and consumer stickiness ratings were then correlated to each other and to TDS parameters for each attribute. Consumers and trained panelists showed good agreement in tactile (r = 0.85, p < .01) and oral (r = 0.94, p < .001) stickiness ratings. Samples presenting high levels of tacky, stringy, and enveloping attributes were rated the stickiest. A subset of attributes, including toothpacking and deformable, correlated positively with stickiness when multiple selections were permitted (CATA) and negatively when only one selection was permitted (TDS). This contradiction suggests two tiers of stickiness-contributing attributes; tier-two attributes (toothpacking, deformable, cohesive) increased stickiness perception, but less so than tier-one attributes (tacky, stringy, enveloping). Identification of texture factors that most strongly relate to consumer perception of stickiness will enable informed testing of stickiness properties and formulation of sticky products.