12 January - 20 June 2016

Using dietary fibre and lime flavour in stevia sweetened drinks to increase acceptability

A study published in the journal Food Research International has investigated the effect of using varying quantities of fibre β-glucans and lime flavour on apple-cherry flavoured beverages sweetened with stevia and consumer acceptability.

Stevia rebaudiana is a natural non-nutritive sweetener approved for use in Europe.  Although it can be used as an alternative to sugar it does not have the same sensory perception as sugar.  S.rebudiana has been reported to produce bitterness and off flavours however using stevia with a high inherent content of the steviol glycoside Rebaudioside has been found to reduce the bitter taste.  Adding flavour compounds has also been found to reduce the negative effects.

Additions of fibre β-glucans can potentially increase the health potential of beverages such as increasing satiety after consumption, however they can also alter the texture, colour, flavour and taste.

A study published in the journal Food Research International has investigated the effect of using varying quantities of fibre β-glucans and lime flavour on apple-cherry flavoured beverages sweetened with stevia and consumer acceptability.

Mielby et al. prepared nine sweetened beverages with varying amount of oat fibre ranging from none (0%), low (0.5%) and high (1%) and varying amounts of lime flavour, none (0%), low (0.05%) and high (0.1%).  The base drink contained cherry concentrate 5.4% (w/v), 7.5% (w/v) apple concentrate, stevia 0.009% (w/v) and water.  The stevia used in the drinks had a high concentration of Rebaudioside A (>75%). The amount of fibre, flavour and stevia used were in line with products already available on the market.  

The nine beverages were first evaluated using descriptive analysis by 10 trained sensory panellists. Based on the descriptive analysis a subset of four were then selected for a consumer study involving 181 participants with a mean age of 41. The four drinks used for consumer testing were 1) with no added lime or fibre, 2) no lime but high fibre content, 3) low lime and high fibre and 4) high lime flavour and high fibre concentration. The consumers were asked questions relating to hunger, thirst and expected liking before evaluating the product.  They were then asked to rate liking, sensory liking (appearance, taste, odour and texture), and wanting.  After consumption of the beverage they were asked questions on ease of use of the questionnaire plus demographical information. 

Mielby et al. report that the addition of lime was able to mask the effect of aftertaste caused by S.rebaudiana.  The study states that the attribute aftertaste was found to be associated with drinks with no added lime and no or low levels of added fibre. Increasing β-glucans led to a sweeter, less sour, fruit drink.  However, increasing fibre resulted in a negative descriptive attribute such as “unfresh odour” and “metallic odour”, resulting in negative response for consumer liking, wanting and sensory satisfaction.  Adding the lime flavour counteracted some of these side effects and the drinks with high fibre concentration had similar positive rating as the beverages that didn’t contain fibre.

RSSL has considerable experience in re-formulating products to provide more healthy options including low salt and low sugar versions.  Using RSSL can help speed up your development cycle considerably.  For more information please contact Customer Services on +44 (0) 118 918 4076 or email enquiries@rssl.com

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