Consumer interest in healthy eating and self-medication is not just a passing fad. Soy-based products have become increasingly popular and gradually moved into the mainstream market. Many consumers associate soy with a healthy consumption pattern. Development of frozen desserts that indulge consumers’ eating desire, yet provide potential health benefits, is a challenge. Product appraisal to identify specific sensory attributes driving product acceptance is vital to the introduction of this new product. This thesis research was designed to develop low-fat sugar-free orange sherbet products containing soy protein and to determine the consumer sensory profile driving product acceptance and purchase intent.
Two consumer studies were performed to evaluate consumer sensory properties of orange sherbets containing soy protein. In study 1, twelve sherbets were formulated with soy protein, SP (3.25, 4.25, 5.25 or 6.25%) and maltodextrin, MD (10, 11, or 12%), and a control (0% SP and 12% MD). Each consumer (n=130) evaluated 3 (of 13) sherbet formulations for acceptability of appearance, color, flavor, sweetness, sourness, texture/mouthfeel, and overall liking using a 9-point hedonic scale. Overall acceptability (yes/no) and purchase intent (buy/not buy) were determined. Data were statistically analyzed. Study 2 was carried out in a similar manner with 140 consumers. Each consumer evaluated 4 (of 4) sherbets with four levels of soy protein concentrate (7.09, 7.05, 6.5, or 6.0g).
In both studies there were significant differences (p<0.05) in texture and overall liking among the sherbet formulations. For study 1, the highest rated acceptable product was the formulation containing 4.25% SP and 11% MD. For study 2 the formulation with 6.0 g soy protein per serving was most acceptable. Flavor, texture, and overall liking were identified as attributes critical to acceptance and purchase intent of the low-fat sugar-free sherbets containing soy protein. The information is useful for further product refinement.