Getting hot: Effect of chili pepper addition on sensory perception of liquid and solid foods

Cong Lyu*, Anne Hendriks, Lauren N. Geary, Ciarán G. Forde, Markus Stieger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The impact of trigeminal oral burn and pungency on taste, flavor, and mouth-feel perception of commercially available foods is underexplored. This study aimed to determine the effect of oral burn sensations evoked by the addition of chili powder to tomato soup, beef burger patties, and curried rice on taste, flavor, and mouth-feel perception. Chili powder was added to tomato soups, beef burger patties, and curried rice at four concentrations. A consumer panel comprising n = 66 participants (49 women, 25.5 ± 5.8 years, BMI 22.9 ± 2.8 kg/m2) assessed taste, flavor, trigeminal, and mouth-feel intensity of all samples using Rate-All-That-Apply methodology. Food matrix consistency strongly impacted oral burn sensations with solid food matrices (beef burger patties and curried rice) suppressing oral burn intensity compared to liquid food matrices (tomato soup). With increasing oral burn intensity, perceived intensity of beef flavor decreased significantly for beef burger patties. Tomato flavor, sweetness, and sourness intensity decreased significantly with increasing oral burn intensity for tomato soups. Perceived burn intensity of all food matrices and beef flavor intensity of beef burger patties differed between infrequent and frequent chili pepper consumers. We conclude that increasing oral burn intensity by the addition of chili pepper powder led to only small reductions in taste and flavor intensity of tomato soups and to little or no changes in flavor and mouth-feel perception of beef burger patties and curried rice. We suggest that reductions in taste, flavor, and mouth-feel intensity caused by oral burn might be more pronounced in liquid (tomato soup) than solid foods (beef burger patties and curried rice). Practical Application: There is a growing public and scientific interest in the development of strategies to increase the sensory appeal of healthy foods and beverages. Incorporation of trigeminal stimuli, such as chili peppers or capsaicin (pungent component of chili peppers), can be a strategy to increase sensory appeal of foods and beverages. Little is known about how trigeminal oral burn and pungency influence taste, flavor, and mouth-feel perception of commercially available foods, although it has been well established that taste, flavor, mouth-feel, and trigeminal sensations contribute to product acceptance. By investigating the sensory impact of oral burn on flavor and mouth-feel perception of foods, this study may help to better understand how trigeminal stimuli can be applied to moderate flavor and mouth-feel perception of foods to optimize sensory appeal.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Food Science
Volume88
Issue numberS1
Early online date16 Dec 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Keywords

  • chili pepper powder
  • cross-modal interactions
  • food matrices
  • mouth-feel perception
  • RATA analysis
  • taste/flavor attributes

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