Investigation of the impact of sensitivity to cis-3-hexen-1-ol (green/grassy) on food acceptability and selection

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • S. R. Jaeger
  • B. Pineau
  • C. M. Bava
  • K. R. Atkinson
  • J. F. McRae
  • L. G. Axten
  • S. L. Chheang
  • M. K. Beresford
  • M. Peng
  • A. G. Paisley
  • Reinbach, Helene Christine
  • S. A. Rouse
  • M. W. Wohlers
  • Y. Jia
  • R. D. Newcomb

The impact of taste acuity on consumer acceptability and food selection responses has been studied for some time, particularly in the case of bitterness. Less attention has been given to the impact of odor acuity on such responses. To begin to bridge this gap, this investigation is focused on cis-3-hexen-1-ol (green/grassy) and the questions explored were: (1) does varying sensitivity to the odor of cis-3-hexen-1-ol impact hedonic responses to food stimuli that have been spiked with this odorant? and (2) does varying sensitivity to the odor of cis-3-hexen-1-ol impact self-reported food selection? The results from three studies involving 400+ consumers are reported. They are: (1) confirm that in the case of cis-3-hexen-1-ol, odor acuity has a small but systematic impact on acceptability and (2) suggest that this result could extend to food selection. Hedonic responses to hummus, tomato juice and Japanese green tea spiked with two different concentrations of cis-3-hexen-1-ol were negative (relative to the unspiked samples) and these response patterns were similar in consumers of Caucasian and Japanese ancestry. Compared to participants classified as 'sensitive' to the odor of cis-3-hexen-1-ol, the negative responses to the spiked foods were less strong among 'insensitive' participants. Similar response patterns emerged when Caucasian consumers hedonically assessed the odor of gold kiwifruit essence spiked with cis-3-hexen-1-ol: increasing spike concentration was perceived negatively, but the magnitude of the negative responses was less among participants classified as 'insensitive' to the odor of cis-3-hexen-1-ol. Preferences for the odor of gold kiwifruit essence spiked with cis-3-hexen-1-ol varied among 'sensitive' and 'insensitive' participants, and revealed a preference among 'insensitive' participants for intermediate spike concentrations relative to high and low spike concentrations. The impact on food selection was studied using a 142-item 24. h self-completion food recall questionnaire, where participants indicated whether or not they had consumed each of the focal foods/beverages. Participants provided data for at least seven 24. h recall periods (18 periods on average) and the proportion of days where items were consumed was compared. Amid considerable individual variation in dietary patterns, a tendency towards participants classified as 'sensitive' to the odor of cis-3-hexen-1-ol to more frequently consume mild cheese, salad greens and cucumber was uncovered. This result should be considered tentative and more as a suggestion for future targeted research into the impact of sensitivity to the odor of cis-3-hexen-1-ol on food selection.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)230-242
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Research areas

  • Consumers, Detection thresholds, Food recall, Odor acuity, Odor liking, Z-3-hexenol

ID: 210532615