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Research Project: Improvement and Maintenance of Flavor, Shelf Life, Functional Characteristics, and Biochemical/Bioactive Components in Peanuts, Peanut Products and Related Commodities through Improved Handling, ...

Location: Food Science and Market Quality and Handling Research Unit

Title: Development of a lexicon for cashew nuts

item GRIFFIN, LAURA - North Carolina State University
item DRAKE, MARRYANNE - North Carolina State University
item Dean, Lisa

Submitted to: Journal of Sensory Studies
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/8/2016
Publication Date: 2/9/2017
Citation: Griffin, L.E., Drake, M., Dean, L.L. 2017. Development of a lexicon for cashew nuts. Journal of Sensory Studies. 32:e12244.

Interpretive Summary: A lexicon is a list of flavor and texture terms that are used to describe products, especially foods. A new cashew nut product was developed that needed to be compared with products already on the market. In order to fairly evaluate the product, a lexicon needed to be put into place to describe this product and compare it to cashews currently being sold. At this time, there are lexicons published for foods such as cheese, rice, peanuts, hazelnuts, and almonds, but not for cashews. This publication describes the creation of the lexicon for cashews and provides a way to describe cashew products in terms of their sensory attributes.

Technical Abstract: A lexicon of flavor and texture terms was developed to describe the sensory characteristics of cashew nuts. A highly-trained and experienced descriptive analysis panel (n = 10, ages 22-58 each with at least 60 hours of descriptive work in nuts) was used to create the lexicon for cashews. After initial identification and discussion of terms, 22 flavor terms, 4 texture terms, and 3 feeling factors to describe the sensory attributes of cashews were identified. The lexicon was validated by demonstrating that the panel could detect differences among 18 different cashew samples, including raw, oil-roasted, dry-roasted, skin-on, store-brand, national-brand, and rancid types when using the identified lexicon. The differences in products were analyzed using analysis of variance and principle component analysis. Differences in flavor and texture were observed across all product categories and the lexicon was considered validated.