Flavor characteristics of irradiated apple cider

Yulianti, Fransiska
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Food Technology

Consumer tests were conducted in central Iowa during 2001 and 2002. In 2001, consumers (n=599) were presented irradiated apple cider with 0.05% potassium sorbate and pasteurized apple cider with 0.05% potassium sorbate and asked "Which sample do you prefer?". In 2002, consumers (577) rated 'degree of liking' for irradiated and pasteurized apple cider with preservative on a 7-point hedonic scale (1=dislike very much to 7=like very much). Ten trained descriptive panelists evaluated the sensory characteristics of three kinds of apple cider: raw, pasteurized and irradiated (2 kGy). Microbial contents of raw, pasteurized and irradiated ciders during 8 weeks of storage were analyzed. Color, pH, titratable acidity and soluble solids content were measured. Flavor compounds of apple cider were quantified using solid-phase microextraction (SPME) headspace analysis and gas chromatography (GC). In 2001, consumers (n=199) at two locations had no preference for irradiated or pasteurized apple cider. Consumers at two different locations preferred irradiated cider (n=172 and 61) compared to pasteurized apple cider (n=128 and 39, respectively). In 2002, consumers rated pasteurized cider and irradiated cider the same at three locations and consumers rated pasteurized cider higher than irradiated cider at one location. At all locations, consumers rated both samples in the "like moderately" category. Irradiated and pasteurized ciders were not different in sourness, astringency, apple flavor or caramelized flavor. Trained panelists identified more "musty flavor" in irradiated apple cider than in raw or pasteurized ciders. Irradiated cider without potassium sorbate contained more yeasts than pasteurized and raw ciders by the end of the eight week study. The quality attributes of irradiated and pasteurized ciders were not different. Most flavor volatiles in pasteurized and irradiated ciders of consumer tests were not different. Higher concentrations of desirable apple compounds in irradiated cider may explain the preference for irradiated apple cider at 2 sites.