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Discrimination of sensory attributes by trained assessors and consumers in semi-sweet hard dough biscuits and their drivers of liking and disliking

Mello, Lívia Silva Simões, Almeida, Eveline Lopes, Melo, Lauro
Food research international 2019 v.122 pp. 599-609
biscuits, dough, fructose, ingredients, odors, sensory evaluation
Descriptive methods are traditionally performed with trained assessors to objectively analyze products, since consumers have long been considered incapable of performing such tests because they are influenced by hedonic evaluations. However, in the last decades, there have been alternative descriptive tests performed by consumers, due to other advantages, such as a rapid sensory profile assessment, reducing cost and time, and Check-all-that-apply (CATA) is an example. Thus, the objective of this work was to compare the performance of trained assessors (n = 15) and consumers using quantitative descriptive analysis (QDA) - traditional method and CATA - alternative method (n = 161 consumers, including acceptance test as well), for 5 samples of semi-sweet hard dough biscuit with different contents of specific ingredients: fructose (0.0 to 6.0%), vanilla aroma (0.0 to 1.2%) and water (9.0 to 13.8%). Results showed that the number of attributes in which trained assessors perceived significant differences was marginally higher (p < .1) than consumers. For smaller formulation differences, trained assessors perceived more (p < .01) attributes presenting significant differences (10) than consumers (2). The sample discrimination presented the same pattern, however trained assessors had greater discriminative power than consumers, i.e., they discriminated samples in more difference levels. The description of the samples was not similar between the methods. The QDA and CATA assessors used different attributes to describe the samples, which reflected in different drivers of liking and disliking if descriptive data come from trained assessors or from consumers. It is concluded that the choice of performing descriptive tests with trained assessors or consumers depends on the purpose of the study.