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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Sensory analysis of calcium-biofortified lettuce

item Park, Sunghun
item Elless, Mark
item Park, Jungeun
item Jenkins, Alicia
item Lim, Wansang
item Chambers Iv, Edgar
item Hirschi, Kendal

Submitted to: Plant Biotechnology Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/9/2008
Publication Date: 10/13/2008
Publication URL:
Citation: Park, S., Elless, M.P., Park, J., Jenkins, A., Lim, W., Chambers IV, E., Hirschi, K.D. 2008. Sensory analysis of calcium-biofortified lettuce. Plant Biotechnology Journal. 7(1):106-117.

Interpretive Summary: We genetically modified lettuce to contain more calcium and then tested if these foods had altered the taste qualities and consumer perceptions of the foods. Our sensory analysis required a panel of human assessors, on whom the lettuce was tested, and we recorded their responses when eating the genetically modified lettuce and controls. We determined that our genetically modified plants were no different than controls in terms of taste and texture. These sensory analysis studies are critical if claims are to be made regarding efficacy of biofortified foods and may be an important component in public acceptance of genetically modified foods.

Technical Abstract: Vegetables represent an attractive means of providing increased calcium nutrition to the public. In this study, it was demonstrated that lettuce expressing the deregulated Arabidopsis H(+)/Ca(2+) transporter sCAX1 (cation exchanger 1) contained 25-32% more calcium than controls. These biofortified lettuce lines were fertile and demonstrated robust growth in glasshouse growth conditions. Using a panel of highly trained descriptive panellists, biofortified lettuce plants were evaluated and no significant differences were detected in flavour, bitterness or crispness when compared with controls. Sensory analysis studies are critical if claims are to be made regarding the efficacy of biofortified foods, and may be an important component in the public acceptance of genetically modified foods.

Last Modified: 06/28/2017
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