The organoleptic properties of foods comprise the physical characteristics that can be perceived through the senses, such as taste, smell, texture, and color. In addition, they are important attributes that influence consumer choices, as they are measured through the analysis of the sensations produced by them. Therefore, taking advantage of thisprofile is decisive for their acceptance or rejection. This provides knowledge of consumer behavior and food quality (OCETIF, 2019; Amerex, 2022).
How to Take Advantage of Food Organoleptic Profile
Theseprofiles are related to what can be perceived by the senses. Such properties are to be considered in the quality product evaluation, based on specific textures, characteristic odors, pleasant tastes, and specific aromas. For example, wine is tasted under these criteria for quality examination (Higuera, 2023).
These properties are decisive as well in the first impressions produced by the food to be consumed. Therefore, the role of these four basic parameters is very important in perishable foods, such as fruits. Learn now how to take advantage of these sensations in the food industry (Higuera, 2023; OCETIF, 2019; Amerex, 2022; AgroJardin, 2022):
1. Identify Flavor as Food’s Main Characteristic.
The food industry identifies five types of tastes: sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami. Consumers can perceive these tastes through taste buds and smell. In addition, they can distingue between slow and immediate tastes within this profile.
For example, among the slow flavors to be perceived, there is the acidity of malic acid, especially in unripe fruits such as grapes, mangoes, apples, or cherries. As for immediate flavors, the acidity of citrus fruits —such as strawberries, oranges, or lemons— can be identified.
2. Color: An Important Indicator in the Organoleptic Profile
Color is an indicator of the chemical reactions occurring in food. It is the most striking characteristic. The consumer is largely guided by the sense of sight. The brightness and tonality of fruits are important, as they express their quality or freshness.
Many color variations are normal and do not affect safety. However, sometimes hue can be a sign of spoilage. For example, fruit color changes are a result of exposure to light or air. This causes oxidate fresh foods, which leads to changes from a bright, vivid hue to a darker one.
3. Textures as Differentiating Properties
The texture is one of the most differentiating qualities in both the food industry and food technology. It is an organoleptic aspect focused on consumer preferences, measuring the analysis of viscosity, thickness, hardness, or stiffness through the sense of touch. Some foods change their appearance and texture during storage.
For example, in foods such as fruits and their derivatives, the aim is to prevent them from being bruised so that irregularities are not generated. In addition, they must be stored in appropriate temperature and humidity conditions to avoid risks to consumers.
4. Aroma, an Organoleptic Aspect Difficult to Characterize
As a property, it is difficult to characterize food aroma. It is presented by its volatile compounds. Some of them, are naturally presented; others, arise due to food processing.
It is a quality that can appear as part of enzymatic reactions. For example, caramelization or fermentation of fruit sugars. For all these reasons, the organoleptic profile of food is a way to describe the physical characteristics that can be appreciated by the senses. It produces sensations that influence consumer preference and choice. Taking advantage of the taste, smell, texture, and color of food is important when giving flavor to the food.
- AgroJardin (2022, November 17): What are the organoleptic properties of foodstuffs?
- Amerex (2022, September 2). The organoleptic quality of foods.
- Higuera, D. (2023, May 30). Organoleptic properties and how they help you in the kitchen. Gastronómadas MX.
- OCETIF. (2019, February 14). Organoleptic properties of foods.