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Identifying an appropriate carrier for nonnutritive sweeteners in metabolic and controlled feeding investigations via sensory evaluation

Myers, Emily A., Duncan, Susan E., Wang, Aili, Hedrick, Valisa E.
Journal of sensory studies 2019 v.34 no.2 pp. e12488
Stevia, adults, applesauce, aspartame, compliance, metabolic studies, nonnutritive sweeteners, questionnaires, sensory evaluation, sensory properties, sucralose, terminology
To strengthen metabolic study designs on nonnutritive sweeteners (NNS), sensory characteristics of NNS combined with different carriers should be better understood. The research objective was to determine an appropriate carrier (water or applesauce) for a high dose of specific NNS types (aspartame, sucralose, or stevia) to inform future metabolic and controlled feeding study designs. Adult participants (n = 67) sampled six sweetener‐carrier combinations (water and applesauce containing high concentrations of aspartame [30 g/oz], sucralose [8.25 g/oz], and stevia [6.75 g/oz]). Participants completed Check‐All‐That‐Apply emotional terminology questionnaires, affective attribute questionnaires, and paired preference questionnaires. Applesauce was preferred (sucralose = 83.6%; aspartame = 79.1%; stevia = 74.6%) significantly more than water for all sweetener types (p < .001) and mean acceptability scores were significantly higher for all applesauce samples. Participants preferred NNS delivered in applesauce rather than water. Applesauce is likely a more appropriate and tolerable carrier for high‐dose NNS, which may contribute to designing effective intervention studies with greater participant compliance. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: This investigation will allow researchers to understand which carrier (applesauce or water) is more tolerable for participants consuming high doses of NNS and to design future research studies to determine health outcomes associated with NNS consumption. Applesauce is likely a more appropriate and tolerable carrier for high‐dose NNS in research studies. Using an acceptable carrier for delivery of high doses of NNS to research participants may contribute to designing effective intervention studies, with greater participant compliance. An acceptable method for delivering NNS to research participants will be valuable for designing intervention studies aimed at examining how NNS consumption impacts health outcomes.