• consumer acceptance;
  • corn tortilla;
  • purchase intent;
  • sensory attributes;
  • sensory drivers

ABSTRACT:  The traditional production of corn tortilla has been modified by new processing technologies to make possible a commercial-scale production; this practice has resulted in products having sensory properties different from those produced by the traditional method. There is no published information on sensory attributes driving acceptance and purchase intent of corn tortillas. Identifying sensory drivers for acceptance and purchase intent of corn tortillas will help commercially produce products that satisfy consumers' expectations. A consumer study was conducted to evaluate acceptance and purchase intent of corn tortillas and determine drivers of acceptance and purchase intent of the products. Ten samples of corn tortillas were selected to represent a variety of corn tortillas available in the Mexican market. Three hundred Mexican consumers evaluated acceptability of appearance, color, thickness, rollability, resistance to tearing, aroma, chewiness, taste and aftertaste, and overall liking using a 9-point hedonic scale. Overall acceptance and purchase intent were determined with a yes/no scale. Analysis of variance and multivariate analysis of variance revealed that consumers were able to differentiate differences in sensory acceptability among 10 samples. For example, 2 homemade and 1 small commercial-scale samples, with an overall liking score of 6.6 to 6.7, were more acceptable than others. Rollability, resistance to tearing, and chewiness were attributes underlying overall differences among 10 samples. Attributes determining overall acceptance of corn tortillas were chewiness and overall liking. Purchase intent was influenced by overall appearance, rollability, chewiness, taste, and overall liking. This study revealed critical sensory attributes and their weights given by Mexican consumers when making decisions for acceptance and purchase intent of corn tortilla.