Effect of successive stimuli on sweetness intensity of gels and custards

A.C. Mosca, J.H.F. Bult, F. van de Velde, M.A.J.S. van Boekel, M.A. Stieger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Variations of tastant concentration during the consumption of food products were shown to enhance taste intensity. The aim of this study was to investigate the relation between the frequency at which tastant concentration is varied during the consumption of products and the occurrence of taste enhancement. For this purpose, the sweetness intensity of sequences of 4 successive sweet stimuli represented by cubes of a semi-solid gel or spoons of a model custard dessert was assessed. The intensity and the order of the stimuli within the sequences were varied to obtain 4 types of sucrose concentration profile (decreasing, increasing, middle peak and boundary peak) at 2 magnitudes of concentration differences (small and large). Sequences of 4 stimuli containing a constant sucrose concentration were used as a reference. The sweetness intensity of the sequences of successive stimuli was assessed using line scale and time-intensity ratings. Line scale ratings showed that the type of sequence had an effect on sweetness intensity. A sweetness enhancement relative to the reference was observed in sequences that ended with high-intensity stimuli, whereas sweetness suppression was observed in sequences that ended with low-intensity stimuli. The observed sweetness enhancement and suppression were attributed to serial position effects (i.e. recency effects). Time-intensity ratings indicated that each stimulus in the sequences was evaluated individually by the assessors. Sequential effects seem to have occurred during the continuous evaluation of successive stimuli, since preceding stimuli in the sequences affected the evaluation of posterior stimuli. Furthermore, the overall sweetness intensity of the different sequences was not enhanced in relation to the reference. The lack of taste enhancement in sequences exhibiting variations of sucrose concentration was attributed mainly to the long period at which sucrose concentration was varied during the evaluation of the sequences. It was confirmed that the frequency of variation of tastant concentration affects the occurrence of taste enhancement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-18
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • pulsatile stimulation
  • spatial-distribution
  • saltiness enhancement
  • taste enhancement
  • perception
  • contrast
  • bread
  • salt


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of successive stimuli on sweetness intensity of gels and custards'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this