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Sensory Influence of Sweetener Addition on Traditional and Decaffeinated Espresso

Cusielo, Kalinca Vitoria Cardoso, da Silva, Alessandra Cazelatto de Medeiros Lins, Tavares‐Filho, Elson Rogerio, Bolini, Helena Maria André
Journal of food science 2019 v.84 no.9 pp. 2628-2637
Stevia, beverage industry, bitterness, coffee (beverage), decaffeination, hedonic scales, odors, sensation, sensory evaluation, sucralose, sucrose, sweetness, texture
Several factors have led to an increase in the consumption of sweeteners in substitution of sucrose. Studies on the behavior and the sensory properties of sweeteners are relevant, once they provide knowledge about both the adequate sweetener concentration with a sweetness equivalence to a sucrose‐sweetened product and the possible sensory changes of the product. The addition of stevia with different rebaudioside A concentrations and sucralose to traditional and decaffeinated espresso coffee was studied, using the just‐about‐right scale and magnitude estimation method, to determine the ideal sweetness and the acceptance of the samples. The effect of the intensity of sensory attributes sweet taste, bitter taste, coffee flavor, and body in the acceptance was evaluated by penalty analysis. Decaffeinated presented proportionally lower sucrose concentration and sweetness equivalence than the traditional samples. Stevia concentrations were similar, despite the different rebaudioside A concentrations, for both traditional and decaffeinated samples, and rebaudioside A levels from stevia in espresso have no differences in sweetness intensity. Sucralose was the most intense sweetener in espresso. Although no differences were observed in the acceptance test in relation to appearance, aroma, and texture among the samples, the internal preference map showed segmentation of consumers with respect to the acceptability. This segmentation is more related to the type of sample than the added sweetener. Penalty analysis demonstrated that the most penalizing sensory characteristics were “coffee flavor” and “sweet,” leading to a significant decrease in the acceptability of the samples. PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Conclusions obtained are important source of knowledge for the coffee industry, in the development and manufacture of beverages with coffee. The present findings can help to understand the behavior and the sensory properties of sweeteners. They provide knowledge about sensory perception of sweet and bitter tastes, and the factors that influence this perception and the sensory profile of the samples, once the behavior of sweeteners varies according to the product to which they are added.