Sensory testing of protein-enhanced soups among older adults

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University of Alabama Libraries

Preference and acceptability of protein-enhanced soups among an older adult population has not been well investigated. The purpose of this research was to examine the sensory attributes of aroma, texture, taste, overall acceptability, and preference of protein-enhanced soups (TRIO® Chicken Noodle and TRIO® Cheddar Broccoli) compared to flavor-matched institutional equivalents among older adults living in assisted living facilities. Sensory attributes were evaluated using sensory questionnaires with a modified paired preference test and 5-point facial hedonic scale. Results are based on data collected through sensory questionnaires completed by forty-four older adults in assisted living facilities in Jefferson and Tuscaloosa counties. Data was subjected to descriptive statistics, multivariable linear regression, independent t tests, and paired t tests for the purpose of determining acceptability and preference of tested soups. The sample was comprised of 32 women and 12 men of an average age of 81.4 ± 8.0 years. Approximately 75% of the population were self-reported Caucasians, 20.4% were African American, and 4.5% were from other ethnic groups. No significant differences (P>.05) were noted between either of the TRIO® soups compared to its flavor-matched control soup for any of the sensory attributes evaluated. Statistically significant gender-specific differences were present for the acceptability (P=.009) of TRIO® Chicken Noodle as well as statistically significant age-related differences in aroma (P=.045), texture (P=.049), taste (P=.006), and acceptability (P=.0009) scores for the control chicken noodle. For TRIO® Cheddar Broccoli, statistically significant gender-specific differences were present for texture (P=0.009) and significant age-specific differences were found for both taste (P=.03) and acceptability (P=.03). Although no significant differences in preference were found between either protein-enhanced soup and its flavor-matched control, the majority of participants (61.36%) preferred TRIO® Chicken Noodle Soup over the control. In contrast, only 38.63% of participants preferred the TRIO® Cheddar Broccoli Soup product over the control. Although preference was greater for the control cheddar broccoli soup, it is important to emphasize that no significant differences (P>.05) existed between the two cheddar broccoli soups for any sensory attribute evaluated. Results of this research suggest that the TRIO® Chicken Noodle product was well accepted and preferred by older adults. Thus, the use of this product may assist in optimizing nutritional status of older adults by assisting with protein consumption. This study highlights the need for future research to examine if protein-enhanced soup products succeed in increasing protein intake among older adults.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Nutrition, Food science