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Title:Sensory Research on Ginseng Food Products
Author(s):Chung, Hee Sook
Director of Research:Lee, Soo-Yeun
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Engeseth, Nicki J.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Lee, Soo-Yeun; Cadwallader, Keith R.; de Mejia, Elvira G.
Department / Program:Food Science & Human Nutrition
Discipline:Food Science & Human Nutrition
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
focus group
conjoint analysis
descriptive analysis
consumer acceptance test
Abstract:Ginseng food products in the United States have mostly been restricted to beverages despite numerous pharmacological effects of ginseng and the growth of functional foods market. Few consumer sensory studies related to ginseng have been conducted in the United States. The overall objectives of this study were to: 1) probe U.S. consumers’ insights of ginseng food products, 2) determine the sensory acceptance of ginseng food products, and 3) characterize the changes in the sensory properties of coffee and chocolate bitterness by the addition of ginseng extract. Three independent focus groups (n = 14) identified that panelists had little experience in consuming ginseng food products. Due to their unfamiliarity with ginseng, informative packaging including more health claims was recommended. The proposed ginseng food product types to be developed to target the U.S. market included ginseng chocolate and coffee. Addition of sweeteners and fruity and spicy flavors was recommended to reduce bitter and earthy flavors innate to ginseng. Conjoint analysis (n = 400) identified that consumers had a low initial interest in ginseng food products. “Sweetness” and “ginseng chocolate” elements drew consumers’ interest, while “bitterness” and “earthy flavor” elements detracted from consumers’ interest. Ginseng chocolate was identified again as a potential product for success in the United States. When commercial ginseng products were evaluated by a consumer panel (n = 126), Korean red ginseng candy with vitamin C and Korean red ginseng crunchy white chocolate were the most highly accepted. When ginseng was tested in model tea and chocolate systems, consumer acceptance increased with increasing content of sugar and honey in ginseng tea, whereas acceptance decreased with increasing content of ginseng extract in milk and dark chocolates. To assess the masking effect of peculiar ginseng tastes by other bitter compounds, a descriptive analysis (n = 12) including time-intensity ratings was conducted. The addition of ginseng extract intensified alcohol bitterness, grapefruit pith bitterness, and medicinal bitterness of caffeine, cyclo (L-Pro-L-Val), and theobromine solutions as well as a model solution simulating milk chocolate bitterness. A model solution simulating dark chocolate bitterness showed a significant masking effect of ginseng bitterness. Findings from the study in its entirety suggest that dark chocolate would be a good base system to incorporate ginseng into, which will effectively mask peculiar ginseng tastes; consequently will have potential for success in the U.S. market. Additionally, it was concluded that more advertising, marketing, education, and informative packaging are necessary to increase U.S. consumers’ familiarity with ginseng.
Issue Date:2010-08-20
Rights Information:Copyright 2010 Hee Sook Chung
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-08-20
Date Deposited:2010-08

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