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Keywords:

  • artificial sweetener consumption;
  • orange juice;
  • sweetness liking

ABSTRACT:  Research into sweetness perception and preference thus far has demonstrated that sweetness preference is related not to the total sugar consumed by an individual but the amount of refined sugar ingested. Research has yet to be conducted, however, to determine whether a diet high in artificial sweeteners contributes to sweetness liking and preference with the same result as a diet high in sugar. The purpose of this research was to determine if such a relationship exists with regard to diets high in artificially sweetened beverages. Seventy-one female participants were recruited and screened for sweetener consumption in beverages. Sixty-four of these individuals were selected for sensory testing. All participants evaluated orange juice samples (ranging from 0% added sucrose to 20% added sucrose) for liking of sweetness using a 9-point hedonic scale. Based on screening survey data, participants were categorized according to sweetener consumption group (artificial sweetener consumers and natural sweetener consumers) and by overall sweetened beverage intake (low or high, regardless of sweetener type normally consumed). Sensory data were analyzed to compare sweetness liking in each of these groups. Significant differences in liking were observed, with individuals in the high sweetened beverage intake group preferring sweeter orange juice than those in the low-intake group. Categorization by sweetener type resulted in no significant differences between the groups, indicating that regardless of the type of sweetener consumed in a beverage, liking of sweetness will be influenced in the same manner.