Chemosensory Perception

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 94–107 | Cite as

Gustatory, Olfactory and Trigeminal Interactions in a Model Carbonated Beverage

  • L. HewsonEmail author
  • T. Hollowood
  • S. Chandra
  • J. Hort


Flavour results from the integration of aroma, taste and chemosensory information within the brain. Understanding interactions between the anatomically separate systems which relay this information is crucial to our appreciation of how different aspects of food contribute to flavour perception and the formulation of successful products. To examine these interactions, a beverage system was created containing elements capable of stimulating gustatory, olfactory and trigeminal systems. Using ingredients relevant to commercial beverages, water, aroma volatiles, tastants and carbonation, enabled examination of the effects of tastant–aroma–carbonation interactions on sensory perception. Samples, selected according to D-optimal designs, were evaluated by a trained panel. Predictive polynomial models were generated from mean panel data to explain variations in the attributes as a function of design factors. Increasing both sugars and acids resulted in increases in perceived flavour. Evidence of differential flavour enhancement profiles of two sugars at perceptually equi-sweet levels, glucose and fructose, supported previous findings in a non-carbonated system (Hewson et al., Food Qual Prefer 19:323–334, 2008). This difference was also evident in models generated for some mouthfeel attributes (tingling and irritant attributes). Carbonation increased sourness, in agreement with previous literature (McLellan et al., J Food Sci 49:1595–1597, 1984; Yau and McDaniel, J Food Sci 57:1412–1416, 1992), but also suppressed sweetness. Interestingly, evaluation of beverages revealed the perception of a bitter aftertaste, which was primarily driven by CO2 level, enhanced by citric acid, and suppressed by increasing sugar concentration. This study provides a comprehensive assessment of the sensory profile of a model carbonated beverage. Analysis provided novel evidence of the influence of multimodal interactions from gustatory, olfactory and trigeminal origin on sensory perception and highlighted the differential effects of two monosaccharides on key sensory attributes.


Multimodal Interactions Carbonation Glucose Fructose Trigeminal System 



This work was carried out with financial support from BBSRC and GSK.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food SciencesUniversity of NottinghamLoughboroughUK
  2. 2.Sensory DimensionsNottinghamUK
  3. 3.Glaxo SmithKlineColefordUK

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