Effect of sugar type and concentration on perception of tomato sweetness

Elizabeth A. Baldwin, Karen A. Thompson


Coarse chop tomato puree was spiked with two levels of glucose, fructose, glucose/fructose, or sucrose and presented to a trained descriptive panel for flavor analysis. The resulting sugar levels of the tomato puree were increased 0, 2 or 3 percent, respectively. Six to eight panelists rated 5 aroma, 6 taste, and 3 aftertaste descriptors on a 15 cm unstructured line scale. Panelists detected significant differences (P< 0.15) for overall aroma, sweetness and sourness intensities. Overall aroma intensity was higher and overall taste generally lower in unspiked controls and samples with elevated glucose. Sweetness intensity in samples with elevated sucrose or fructose was rated higher, and sourness rated lower, than controls or samples with added glucose. Tomato samples spiked with fructose or sucrose were perceived by the panelists to be similar in sweetness and both were rated sweeter than controls or samples with added glucose. Samples with the higher concen trations of sugars were generally perceived to be sweeter and less sour than those with less sugar. In view of these results, breeding or engineering tomatoes to have higher levels of sucrose at the expense of fructose and glucose would not seem to improve flavor quality.

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283

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