The food sector has witnessed a surge in the production of plant-based meat alternatives that aim to mimic various attributes of traditional animal products. However, overall sensory appreciation remains low. This study employed open-ended questions, preference ranking, and an identification question to analyze sensory drivers and barriers to liking four burger patties, i.e., two plant-based (one referred to as pea protein burger and one referred to as animal-like protein burger), one hybrid meat-mushroom, and one 100 % beef burger. Untrained participants (n = 175) were randomly assigned to blind or informed conditions in a between-subject study. The main objective was to evaluate the impact of providing information about the animal/plant-based protein source/type, and to obtain product descriptors and liking/disliking levels from consumers. Results from the ranking tests for blind and informed treatments showed that the animal-like protein was the most preferred product, followed by the 100 % beef burger. Moreover, in the blind condition, there was no significant difference in preferences between the beef burger and the hybrid and pea protein burgers. In the blind tasting, people preferred the pea protein burger over the hybrid one, contrary to the results of the informed tasting, which implies the existence of affecting factors other than pure hedonistic enjoyment. In the identification question, although consumers correctly identified the beef burger under the blind condition, they still preferred the plantbased 'animal-like' burger.
A sensory study on consumer valuation for plant-based meat alternatives: What is liked and disliked the most? / Sogari, Giovanni; Caputo, Vincenzina; Joshua Petterson, Andrew; Mora, Cristina; Boukid, Fatma. - In: FOOD RESEARCH INTERNATIONAL. - ISSN 0963-9969. - 169:(2023), p. 112813. [10.1016/j.foodres.2023.112813]