Abstract: One of the challenges of studying food consumption behavior is to identify the drivers of choice for a food product. This is particularly important to design and develop new foods for which no previous information is available. Hibiscus sabdariffa L. (Bissap) is an herbaceous plant and an important source of vitamins, minerals, and bioactive compounds, which confer a number of potential health benefits to derived products. The consumption of Bissap in beverage form is widespread in Africa and Asia, but not yet in Europe. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the main drivers of consumer acceptance of a traditional African beverage made from Bissap to which they had not been previously exposed. First, three focus groups (n = 22) were performed in Portugal to characterize the sensory profile of four Bissap beverages, to reveal perceptions and attitudes towards Bissap beverages, and to identify potential choice attributes. Subsequently, a full-profile conjoint analysis (n = 99) was performed, where consumers evaluated 37 Bissap beverage profiles, aiming to estimate choice attribute importance and to identify relevant market segments. Focus group findings showed that consumers would choose Bissap because they perceived as a healthy choice, and due to its novelty. The conjoint study showed an ideal profile for a Bissap beverage costing €0.99/L, <18 kcal/100 mL, packaged in Tetra-pack, light red color, and containing labeling information about antioxidants and Bissap. Four clusters of consumers were identified: price sensitive, body concerned, packaging attracted, and demanding, highlighting the most influential choice attributes: price, calories, and packaging. Findings provide useful guidance for new product development of an African product in the European lifestyle. Results might be useful from a nutraceutical point of view and to the food/beverages industry.
Abstract: This article is concerned with one of the UK’s major export successes of the last century, Scotch whisky. The economics of the production process place considerable onus on firms to forecast demand for up to a decade ahead. History reveals the difficulty in achieving this, with clear cycles of over-production and under-production as firms attempt to adjust their stock portfolios. No sooner has leadership emerged to encourage a more strategic approach to the stock cycle than market forces encourage some firms to break ranks in pursuit of alternative objectives. With the industry having consolidated further following the large mergers of the late 1990s and 2000s, it is tempting to assume the vagaries of the past are over. Current record production and stock levels, however, are set to test this proposition as Scotch sales are now below the peak level of 2011.
Abstract: Small drinking water treatment systems (serving <10,000 population) in rural communities frequently encounter multiple challenges in water quality and federal regulatory compliance, especially the disinfection byproduct (DBP) regulations, due to source water variations, limited resources, and aging infrastructures. Unlike most studies on the DBP control using synthetic water in laboratory settings, this research aimed to identify the major water quality issues confronting small systems in the state of Missouri (MO), the United States of America (USA). Three small systems were selected based on source water and geographic locations. Water samples were collected quarterly from each major treatment process during the period of May 2012 to March 2013 and analyzed to identify the treatment effectiveness and potential water quality issues in each small system. Results of water quality characterization showed that the major water quality issue in the selected small systems was the low efficiency of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) removal, especially the DOC species that are considered as the DBP precursors. Most collected water samples had a higher trihalomethane formation potential (THMFP) than the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) maximum contaminant limit (MCL) (80 μg/L). Based on the analysis of the treatment efficiency in each system, several strategies for water quality improvement were recommended, and a few of which have been implemented in the small systems, leading to improved drinking water quality and compliance with the USEPA DBP regulations. This study would provide a valuable aid to small system operators and local water authority in context of water quality improvement and the regulatory compliance.
Abstract: A preliminary evaluation of yeast fermented palm wine sourced from Imo State in Nigeria was carried out to establish compounds that contribute to the distinct flavor of the beverage and to determine if the product abundance is affected when the drink is supplemented with Sacoglottis gabonensis. Palm wine samples from two different trees Elaeis sp. and Raphia sp. (pH less than 5) that contain Saccharomyces cerevisiae and other yeast species identified by sequencing the D1/D2 domain of the 26S rRNA genes were used. Evaluation was carried out using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), atmospheric pressure chemical ionization-mass spectrometry (APCI-MS) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Samples contained 5.9–11.6, 2.2–7.1, 4.2–43.0, and 4.4–43.7 g/L of acetic acid, lactic acid, ethanol and glucose, respectively. Ethyl acetate, acetic acid and ethanol had the most aroma intensity and an assessment on the yeast metabolome database showed that 23 out of the 31 products detected were present in the database. Addition of Sacoglottis gabonensis supplement to a Raphia sp. palm wine sample showed lower abundance of acetoin, acetic acid, methylpropyl lactate, ethyl octanoate and propyl acetate. We conclude that Sacoglottis gabonensis supplementation could suppress specific compounds during palm wine fermentation. This knowledge could be applied in new product development for the beverage.
Abstract: Consumers increasingly require innovative food products with health benefits. Thus, a dried orange juice incorporating probiotics could be a novel challenge. In this context, we investigated whether different sugars added to the culture media used for growth of two lactic acid bacteria contributed to their protection during spray drying in orange juice and subsequent storage under different conditions of temperature, light exposure and water activity. Cell viability during passage through simulated gastro-intestinal conditions was also investigated. Cells grown in culture medium containing fructose resulted in the worst survival rates during storage. High survival was observed for cells grown in the presence of lactose, followed by glucose. The survival of dried bacteria was enhanced at 4 °C, water activity of 0.03 and absence of daylight. For cells grown in standard culture medium and after 12 months of storage at 4 °C in orange juice powder (about 109 cfu/mL), there was a reduction of approximately 2 log-units for both lactic acid bacteria after gastro-intestinal tract passage simulation. Using the conditions of growth and storage investigated, it is possible to improve the survival rate of lactic acid bacteria and produce an orange juice powder with probiotic characteristics with shelf life of at least 12 months.
Abstract: There are many interactions that occur between taste and aroma that may impact perception. The main objective of this study was to ascertain whether the aroma fraction of wine should be considered when investigating relationships between chemical composition and sensory perception of mouthfeel. Chardonnay wines with different mouthfeels were produced by altering the fermentation temperature (15 °C and 21 °C) of the alcoholic and malolactic fermentations (MLF) as well as the timing of MLF and the presence of a non-Saccharomyces yeast during alcoholic fermentation. Napping® and Ultra-flash-profiling were conducted using a panel of white winemakers. Each procedure was conducted twice: once with retro-nasal aroma (+R) and once without retronasal aroma (−R). Napping® results showed that retronasal aroma impacted mouthfeel perception. Ultra-flash profiling of +R and −R displayed similar descriptive terms used. Several terms appear to be related to retronasal aroma as they were used in +R and not in −R. It is unclear if these terms are due to interactions or due to associated learning. These results suggest that for some mouthfeel terms the volatile fraction plays a role and, to establish relationships between chemical composition and mouthfeel perception, it is important to consider both the volatile and nonvolatile wine fractions.