© 2019 Elsevier Ltd Humans are innately predisposed to enjoy sweetness. However, excessive sugar consumption has been linked to a range of health issues. In order to develop an effective strategy to provide customised products and promote healthy eating, it is important to understand individual variation in sweetness preference. This study investigated how both Sweet Liking Status and PROP Taster Status impact on liking and emotional response to an ice tea product varying in sweetness intensity. One hundred and seventy five consumers were invited to rate liking and sweetness intensity of 5 sucrose solutions and emotional response, liking and sweetness intensity of ice tea samples varying in sweetness concentration (Low, Medium and High), and with sugar type (Sucrose and Sweetener). Cluster analysis followed by validation test within each cluster group has identified 34% High Sweet Likers (HSL), 16% Medium Sweet Likers (MSL), 35% Low Sweet Likers (LSL) and 15% Unclassified group (UN). LSL had an overall heightened sweetness sensitivity than HSL for the sucrose solutions. For ice tea samples, no significant differences on liking and emotional response were observed between the two types of sugar, indicating consumers have a high acceptability when using sweetener as a sugar substitute in beverages. Overall, liking and positive emotions were rated more intensely for the Medium sweetened ice tea, whereas the opposite was found for the Low sweetened ice tea. A significant Sweet Liking Status*Concentration interaction was observed, where for High sweetened ice tea, LSL significantly disliked the sample and associated with lower positive and higher negative emotions, but an opposite trend was observed for HSL. For ideal sweetness, LSL indicated a significant lower ideal sweetness level in ice tea than HSL. Unlike Sweet Liking Status, an overall PROP Taster Status effect on both liking and emotional response was observed, but the effect was found to be independent of sweetness levels. A relative effect of Sweet Liking Status and PROP Taster Status on emotional response was also observed, where the effect of Sweet Liking Status was more pronounced in both pST and pNT group.
Yang, Q., Kraft, M., Shen, Y., MacFie, H., & Ford, R. (2019). Sweet Liking Status and PROP Taster Status impact emotional response to sweetened beverage. Food Quality and Preference, 75, 133-144. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodqual.2019.02.016