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Sensory profile and Beijing youth preference of seven cheese varieties

Zhang, X. Y., H. Y. Guo, L. Zhao, W. F. Sun, S. S. Zeng, X. M. Lu, X. Cao, and F. Z. Ren

Food Quality and Preference 22:101-1009. 2011

The sensory characteristics that determined consumer preference for seven imported cheeses were investigated. Descriptive sensory analysis was performed by seven trained assessors who used 17 descriptors to quantitatively describe the flavors of these cheeses. In parallel, 268 Beijing teenagers expressed their preference for the cheeses on a nine-point hedonic scale. Descriptive sensory data were analyzed using principal component analysis to determine the relationships between cheeses and sensory attributes. Significant differences were found between the cheeses (P<0.05) on the first two principal components, accounting for 81% of the experimental variance. Hierarchical cluster analysis of the preference data identified seven consumer segments with different preferences and showed that there existed a potential market for each of the cheeses. Descriptive and consumer-preference data were related using external preference mapping and the sensory characteristics of cheeses preferred by the consumer segments were identified. Overall, most Chinese teenagers preferred cheeses with a mild flavor such as “milky”, “sweet”, or “soured milk”, and disliked cheeses with a “salty,” “nutty,” “umami,” “toasted,” or “bitter” character.


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