How Mango Aroma Enhances Sweetness in Low-Sugar Drinks: A Sensory Study

Jenn Hoskins
2nd June, 2024

How Mango Aroma Enhances Sweetness in Low-Sugar Drinks: A Sensory Study

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers at China Agricultural University found that mango aroma can enhance the sweetness of low-sugar beverages
  • The optimal combination for sweetness was 4.28% sucrose and 0.57% mango flavor, while the most effective reduction was achieved with 2.24% sucrose and 0.25% mango flavor
  • Mango aroma allowed for a 32.14% reduction in sugar content while maintaining the desired sweetness, unlike garlic aroma which did not enhance sweetness perception
Excessive sugar intake has become a significant public health concern, prompting the food industry to seek ways to reduce sugar content in products without compromising taste or safety. A promising strategy to address this issue is odor-induced sweetness enhancement (OISE), which leverages specific aromas to enhance the perception of sweetness in low-sugar foods and beverages. A recent study conducted by researchers at China Agricultural University[1] explored the OISE effect of mango aroma and its potential to reduce sugar content in beverages. The study aimed to construct a mathematical model through sensory evaluation to determine the effectiveness of mango aroma in enhancing sweetness perception in low-sugar beverages. The researchers found that the optimal liking for low-sugar model beverages was achieved with a combination of 4.28% sucrose and 0.57% mango flavor. Notably, the most synergistic OISE effect occurred at 2.24% sucrose and 0.25% mango flavor, which was perceived as equivalent to a 2.96% pure sucrose solution. This finding suggests that mango aroma can facilitate a 32.14% reduction in sugar while maintaining the desired sweetness. The study also compared the OISE effect of mango aroma with that of garlic aroma. Unlike mango, garlic aroma did not enhance sweetness perception, highlighting that the congruency of aroma and taste is essential for the OISE effect to occur. This underscores the importance of selecting appropriate aromas that naturally complement the sweet taste to achieve the desired enhancement. The concept of OISE is supported by earlier research that investigated the role of odorant compounds in taste perception. For instance, a study utilizing gas chromatography/olfactometry-associated taste (GC/O-AT) analysis identified specific odorants that enhance sweetness in multi-fruit juices[2]. Compounds such as ethyl 2-methylbutanoate and linalool were found to significantly enhance the sweetness perception in both sucrose solutions and sugar-reduced fruit juices. This method of selecting and utilizing odorants to modulate taste perception aligns with the findings of the mango aroma study, demonstrating the potential of OISE to reduce sugar content in beverages effectively. Furthermore, the relationship between taste perception and factors such as age, sex, and genetics has been well-documented. A study analyzing the influence of these factors on taste acuity found that taste perception diminishes with age, and women generally perceive tastes more intensely than men[3]. These findings are relevant as they highlight the variability in taste perception among individuals, which must be considered when developing sugar-reduced products using OISE strategies. Understanding these differences can help tailor products to meet the sensory preferences of diverse consumer groups. The historical context of taste and flavor perception also provides valuable insights into the OISE mechanism. Aristotle's initial confusion between taste and flavor was clarified only when it was understood that retronasal olfaction (odor perception from the rear of the nose) plays a significant role in flavor perception[4]. Recent research has shown that retronasal olfactory stimuli can enhance sweet taste signals in the brain, supporting the idea that specific aromas can be used to modulate sweetness perception without increasing sugar content. In conclusion, the study by China Agricultural University demonstrates the practical application of mango aroma in enhancing sweetness perception in low-sugar beverages, offering a viable solution for sugar reduction. This approach aligns with previous research on odorant-induced taste modulation[2] and takes into account the variability in taste perception among individuals[3]. By leveraging the cross-modal interaction between aroma and taste, the food industry can develop healthier, sugar-reduced products that still satisfy consumer preferences.



Main Study

1) The effect of mango aroma in low-sugar beverage: A sensory study on odor induced sweetness enhancement.

Published 1st June, 2024

Related Studies

2) Selecting odorant compounds to enhance sweet flavor perception by gas chromatography/olfactometry-associated taste (GC/O-AT).

3) Bitter, Sweet, Salty, Sour and Umami Taste Perception Decreases with Age: Sex-Specific Analysis, Modulation by Genetic Variants and Taste-Preference Associations in 18 to 80 Year-Old Subjects.

4) What Aristotle didn't know about flavor.

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