Abstract: The aim of this study was to understand sensory and instrumental similarities and differences among an array of cookies made with bulk and microencapsulated grape seed extract (GSE) and then to determine how these differences impact consumer acceptance. Total of 4 types of cookies (control, enriched with bulk GSE, and enriched with 2 different microencapsulated GSE) were evaluated by instrumental analyses, a sensory trained panel using the quantitative descriptive analysis (QDA®) methodology, and a consumer acceptance test that included a usage and attitude survey. The addition of GSE resulted in darker brown cookies; microencapsulation partially masked the color that the GSE conferred to the cookies. The cookies with the microencapsulated GSE showed a significant higher antioxidant activity, microencapsulation may have reduced the GSE heat degradation. The QDA® trained panelists found the enriched cookies to be more astringent and with aromas and flavors similar to whole grains flours. Consumers rated the control cookie and 1 GSE encapsulated cookie at parity; they were equally well liked (P > 0.05). When provided with information, nearly 60% of consumers stated that they were willing to purchase cookies enriched with antioxidants. This high positive percentage may increase if consumers received more education on the health benefits of antioxidant consumption.
Practical Application: Grape seed extracts (GSE) have beneficial effects on human health such as prevention of damages caused by free radicals, prevention of cardiovascular diseases and cancer, but they also have a bitter and astringent flavor, as well as instability to heat. The flavor and instability represent a challenge to incorporate GSE as functional ingredients in food products. Microencapsulation could protect the GSE and mask their flavor, and represents a possible solution to these inconveniences. Cookies are candidates for the addition of GSE as functional ingredients, because they are a popular bakery item widely consumed by nearly all levels of society.