Going beyond liking scores: Using population segmentation and food-evoked emotions in sensory evaluation of foods for older adults
The overall aim of this thesis was to evaluate food-related factors during sensory testing that could provide useful information beyond traditional hedonic scores to determine acceptance of foods designed specifically for older consumers. The first study investigated the effects of segmenting older adults into subgroups based on their degrees of food neophobia and healthy eating interests on liking of ten nutrient-dense foods, and the impact of providing information regarding health benefits of foods. Effects differed between products. The second study measured food-evoked emotional response profiles and liking scores for salt-reduced microwave-processed chicken pasta meals with and without herbs. Emotions did not discriminate between meals more than liking scores, but there were relationships found between positive emotions and higher hedonic ratings. While these studies yielded different conclusions regarding the impact of testing beyond liking scores, it may still be worthwhile to apply these sensory techniques when developing foods for older adults.