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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Functional Foods Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #267510

Title: Taste threshold of Panax ginseng (C.A. Meyer)

item STEADMAN, RACHEL - University Of Illinois
item CADWALLADER, KEITH - University Of Illinois
item Berhow, Mark

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/4/2011
Publication Date: 9/8/2011
Citation: Steadman, R., Cadwallader, K., Berhow, M.A. 2011. Taste threshold of Panax ginseng (C.A. Meyer). Pangborn Conference, Toronto, Canada.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Ginseng has been used for centuries in Asian folk medicine. While made up of hundreds of compounds, it has long been regarded that ginseng saponins (gensenosides) are responsible for ginseng’s pharmacological properties. Most Americans find the taste of ginseng to be unappealing; therefore, the concentrations of ginseng found in commercial products released in the United States typically possess subclinical doses recommended for optimal pharmacological benefits. This study was designed to identify the taste threshold of ginseng so that corporations could optimize formulations of products for possible expansion into U.S. markets. The R-index measure by the rating method was employed by thirty-one untrained panelists to identify the taste threshold of three different commercially available samples of Panax Ginseng (C.A.Meyer), which is the most common variety used in the American beverage industry. Panelists tested ten replicates of seven different concentrations of each variety, using nose clips to ensure that only the mechanism of taste was utilized. To determine the taste threshold, data were interpolated to identify the concentration at an R-index of 75%. The sample purchased from AmaxNutra Source, Inc. (U.S.A.), had a threshold range of 0.014-0.21g/L. The sample purchased from the Xi’an TonKing Biotech Company (China) had a threshold range of 0.023-0.45 g/L. The sample purchased from the Cheong Kwan Jang Company (Korea) had a threshold range of 0.17-2.17 g/L. Chemical analysis of the samples showed varying quantities of the major gensenosides, which is believed to be the defining factor for the different threshold levels. The AmaxNutra Source sample was determined to be comprised of 89% ginsenosides, the Xi’an TonKing Biotech sample 65% ginsenosides, and the Cheong Kwan Jang sample 1.7% ginsenosides. Further studies will be done to determine which of the individual ginsenosides identified in the chemical analysis has a major impact on the taste thresholds of commercial ginseng products.