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Flavor Lexicon for Sensory Descriptive Profiling of Different Rice Types

Limpawattana, M., Shewfelt, R.L.
Journal of food science 2010 v.75 no.4 pp. S199
rice, principal component analysis, flavor, reference standards
Rice flavor is a significant factor in determining quality and consumer acceptability as exemplified by scented rice, which is highly favored and commands a price premium. Sensory descriptive analysis has primarily been performed to assess rice flavor characteristics, but these studies feature only a limited lexicon for characterizing specific flavors or the range of flavor types is limited. This study was undertaken to establish a descriptive lexicon with reference standards for describing the flavor properties of a broad spectrum of rice types and use the developed lexicon to characterize which sensory attributes are most important in rice flavor quality. A rice flavor lexicon consisting of 24 descriptive notes was developed and expanded by 8 trained sensory panelists to characterize the flavor of cooked rice differing in terms of forms, types, and specialty (n = 36). Of these 24 descriptive terms, 19 were aromatic notes and 5 were fundamental tastes and oral feeling factors. Eighteen aromatic terms were significantly present in most rice samples whereas some descriptors exhibited unique characteristics of a specific-rice type. Subsequent multivariate analysis indicated that 18 descriptive terms were required to fully understand the characteristics of rice flavor in greater details. This lexicon covered a wider range of rice samples than in the previous studies and will facilitate targeting the characteristic notes important to rice processors as well as producers.