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Dynamic flavor perception of encapsulated flavors in a soft chewable matrix

Kim, Esther H.-J., Paredes, Dulce, Motoi, Lidia, Eckert, Markus, Wadamori, Yukiko, Tartaglia, Jennifer, Green, Carter, Hedderley, Duncan I., Morgenstern, Marco P.
Food research international 2019 v.123 pp. 241-250
Mentha piperita nothosubsp. piperita, candy, deglutition, encapsulation, extrusion, flavor, flavor compounds, fluidized beds, mastication, melting, models, mouth, particle size, processed foods, spray drying
Encapsulation is commonly used to protect flavor compounds against adverse environmental and processing conditions or to provide controlled release in processed foods. Flavor compounds are released during eating and the release rate depends on food breakdown dynamics in the mouth. Two sequential studies were designed to explore the flavor perception of the same flavor in different encapsulation systems. The studies were focused on the interactions between encapsulation technology, particle size and breakdown processes in the mouth. A peppermint flavor was used as a model flavor and encapsulated with different technologies (spray drying, melt extrusion and fluidized bed drying). The encapsulated flavors and a selected combination were incorporated into a soft chewable candy, keeping the total flavor concentration the same for each sample. The chewable candy samples were presented to naïve panelists (n > 30) for the following two evaluations; (1) comparison of overall flavor perception with a 2-alternative forced choice test; and (2) dynamic evaluation of perceived flavor intensity over time during eating and after swallowing using time intensity. The results showed that the overall and dynamic flavor perceptions are greatly affected by the encapsulation technologies and particle sizes, and can be modulated by combining flavor particles produced by different encapsulation technologies depending on the application and desired flavor profile. The results also showed a large perceived flavor intensity variation between panelists, resembling variation among consumers. In an effort to better understand the relationship between the oral processing patterns and flavor perception, we used the JBMB® typing tool which gives four “Mouth Behavior” groups (“Chewers”, “Crunchers”, “Smooshers” and “Suckers”) and explored to determine whether they would account for the variation. Compared with “Chewers” and “Crunchers”, “Smooshers” tended to have a slower increase of flavor intensity during eating and a more gradual drop after swallowing. However, this needs to be confirmed with larger numbers of consumers (including suckers who were excluded in this study because they were not sufficient in numbers) and samples with a longer chew time.