Interaction of Retronasal and Orthonasal Perception of Unfamiliar Flavors
Keywords:Orthonasal Flavor Perception
Orthonasal Retronasal Interaction
Retronasal Flavor Perception
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Series/Report no.:2016 Spring Undergraduate Research Expo
Aroma compounds can be perceived through orthonasal (through the nose—smelling) or retronasal (through the mouth—flavor) mechanisms. These signals are processed by the same receptors and by the same sections of the brain, but are thought to elicit different perceptions, hedonic responses and behaviors. In this experiment, sensory evaluation of unfamiliar flavors by retronasal (flavor) and orthonasal (smell) perception were studied. The unfamiliar flavors used were Yuzu, Carambola, Hibiscus, and Momo. A matching test wherein panelists were given a reference sample containing one of the aroma compounds and told to identify that sample amongst the four unknowns was performed for three different evaluation scenarios: orthonasal to orthonasal perception, retronasal to retronasal perception, and retronasal to orthonasal perception. For each condition, the probability of a panelist correctly guessing all of the matching samples is 0.39%. McNemar's Test for Correlated Proportions was used to identify significant differences in correct responses for the three conditions. When data from all flavors were combined, retronasal to orthonasal matching proved to be most difficult. Indeed, significantly more samples were correctly matched when reference and target samples were both evaluated retronasally (retronasal-retronasal; p=0.039). This difference approached significance (p=0.062) when the reference and target samples were both presented orthonasally. For the Carambola and Momo flavors, significantly fewer retronasal-orthonasal matches were made compared to the orthonasal-orthonasal evaluations (p=0.020 and p=0.038, respectively) and retronasal-retronasal evaluations (p=.003 and 0.008; respectively). Hibiscus and Yuzu only showed significant differences when comparing the orthonasal-orthonasal condition to the retronasal-orthonasal condition (p=0.038, p=0.043). Overall, these results can be used in the flavor and food industry in order to better understand how the application of aromatic flavors leads to different perceptions by consumers when evaluated by nose or by mouth.
Agriculture/Ecological/Environmental Science (The Ohio State University Spring Undergraduate Research Expo)
Academic Major: Food Science and Technology
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