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Title:Sensory differences between beet and cane sugars
Author(s):Urbanus, Brittany
Advisor(s):Lee, Soo-Yeun; Schmidt, Shelly J.
Department / Program:Food Science & Human Nutrition
Discipline:Food Science & Human Nutrition
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:Sucrose, commonly referred to as sugar, is a worldwide commodity used in a wide variety of food applications. Beet and cane sugars, the primary sources of sucrose, have a nearly identical chemical composition (>99%), though some differences in their analytically determined volatile profiles, thermal behavior, and minor chemical compositions have been noted. However, the sensory differences between beet and cane sugars are not well defined or documented in the literature. The objectives of this research were to: 1) determine whether a sensory difference was perceivable between beet and cane sugar sources in regard to their aroma-only, taste and aroma without nose clips, and taste-only with nose clips, 2) characterize the difference between the sugar sources using descriptive analysis, 3) determine whether panelists could identify a sensory difference between beet and cane sugars and product matrices made with beet and cane sugars using the R-index by ranking method, and 4) relate the impact of information labels that specified the sugar source in an orange flavored drink to overall liking of that drink. Data from this research indicated that panelists could discern a sensory difference between beet and cane sugars, specifically in terms of their aromas. The differences are attributed to the aroma profiles, which were characterized using descriptive analysis. The sensory profile of beet sugars was characterized by off-aromas, including off-dairy, oxidized, earthy, and barnyard aromas and by a burnt sugar aroma-by-mouth and aftertaste, while cane sugar was associated with sweet and fruity attributes. R-index by ranking found that panelists could perceive a difference between beet and cane sugars when incorporated into some products. Masking due to the flavor and complexity of the product matrix, the quantity of sugar in the products, and variation due to processing may be influential factors in their ability to differentiate between the sugar sources when used in a product. Results from a five-phase consumer study indicated that providing consumers with information regarding the sugar source used in orange flavored drink products has no influence on their liking of the product, though the liking scores of the sugars themselves were significantly influenced by information conditions (blind and informed). Although the presence of information about sugar source in a product is not influential to the general public, it may have shown an effect if consumers who favor one type of sugar source were targeted for this study. This research is significant because it documents the sensory differences between beet and cane sugars, something that is not yet defined in the literature. The studies recognized the sensory modalities in which beet and cane sugars can be differentiated and characterized their sensory profile to explain these differences. The results can also be used to make suggestions to food manufacturers as to which factors should be considered when formulating foods with beet or cane sugar sources.
Issue Date:2014-05-30
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Brittany Urbanus
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-05-30
Date Deposited:2014-05

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