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ABSTRACT

A lexicon for describing the sensory flavor characteristics of pomegranate juices was developed. Thirty-three pomegranate juices, including concentrated products, products from concentrate, and freshly squeezed and pasteurized products, were studied. More than 30 sensory attributes were identified, defined, and referenced by a highly trained descriptive sensory panel. The lexicon that was established includes attributes to describe a range of flavors associated with pomegranates, such as brown spice, fermented, molasses, vinegar, wine-like, woody, apple, berry, cranberry, cherry and grape. Generally, pomegranate juice can be described by the flavor characteristics of sour, sweet, musty/earthy, fruity aromatics and an astringent mouthfeel. The flavor characteristics of pomegranate juices are reminiscent of a combination of concord grapes, cranberries, blackberries, cherries, currants and raspberries, but there also are vegetable notes such as beets and carrots. The lexicon provides attribute descriptors, definitions and references that were previously lacking in literature on pomegranates.

PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

The manufacturing and consumption of pomegranate and pomegranate-based products has increased. Many products use pomegranate as a main flavor component or as an addition to other flavors in juices, yoghurts, jams and supplements. This research provides sensory terms that can be used to describe the flavor characteristics of pomegranate juices. This information is useful to product developers, researchers and technologists in understanding the characteristics of pomegranate flavor and using those attributes to create new products, adapt other products, and study quality-control and shelf-life issues.