Submitted to: American Peanut Research and Education Society Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/19/2002
Publication Date: 8/13/2002
Citation: Young, N.D., Sanders, T.H., Drake, M., Civille, G.V. 2002. The use of descriptive analysis and consumer research methods in the evaluation of peanuts from different origins. American Peanut Research and Education Society Proceedings. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Differences in variety, environment, and handling result in a range of flavor quality in peanuts from various origins. Determination of the flavor profile of peanuts from specific origins will be helpful to manufacturers of peanut products throughout the world. General industry conversation regarding use of other origin peanuts and limited research strongly suggests that the excellence of U.S. farm-to-market operations results in superior flavor quality and a highly reduced incidence of off-flavor. The objective of this study was to conduct descriptive sensory analysis and consumer flavor/preference evaluations of peanuts from the U.S., China, and Argentina. Twenty lots from each country were randomly selected in either The Netherlands or Great Britain, shipped to the U.S., roasted, ground into paste, and subjected to descriptive sensory analysis. Using the descriptive sensory data, principal component analysis, roast peanut intensity ranking and total off-flavor ranking were integrated to select six samples from each country that represented the range of overall high to low flavor from each country. For consumer evaluation, roasted, unsalted, chopped peanuts were evaluated using a constant control across six days. Consumers (n=>600) evaluated peanuts for overall liking, overall flavor liking, and the strength/intensity for liking of: color, roasted peanut flavor, sweet taste, bitter taste, fresh peanut flavor, and crisp texture using a nine-point hedonic scale. Descriptive and consumer data were analyzed by univariate and multivariate analysis of variance. Descriptive sensory analysis clearly indicated the superior overall flavor of U.S. peanuts and the more frequent occurrence of the off-flavor musty in peanuts from Argentina and higher bitter taste in peanuts from China. Consumer scores for overall liking were 5.40, 4.77, and 4.66, while scores for overall flavor liking were 5.28, 4.87, and 4.60 for peanuts from the U.S., China, and Argentina, respectively. Overall liking and overall flavor liking scores were significantly different and were correlated to significant differences in the strength/intensity for liking of the color and flavor attributes evaluated (p<0.05). These data demonstrate the superior flavor quality and U.S. consumer preference for peanuts produced in the U.S.