Sensory characterization of conifer-based extracts in a culinary use perspective

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterResearchpeer-review

  • Francois Girard
  • Afia Boumail
  • Katherine Tanaka
  • Frøst, Michael Bom
  • Sylvie Turgeon
  • Veronique Perreault
Wild foods have increased in popularity among Quebec’s chefs and the general public. Tree products, such as conifer needles and buds, are abundant resources that are very characteristic of Quebec’s forests. They are underutilized in culinary applications despite their great flavour potential.

The purpose of this study was to characterize the sensory properties of conifer-based extracts for culinary purposes. The extracts’ sensory properties were characterized by chefs and student chefs. In addition, suggestions for their culinary value were collected in order to further encourage the use of conifer products in cooking.

Needles and buds from three conifer species (Balsam fir, White spruce, Black spruce) were prepared following three methods: aqueous (maceration [4°C-48h], decoction [100°C-1min]) or lipid (sous-vide [55°C-90min]) extraction methods. Projective mapping combined with ultra-flash profiling was performed. Respondents specifically focused on odours and aromas. Culinary arts teachers and advanced students (n=21) evaluated 14 samples. Standard projective mapping data analysis methods (lemmatizing, semantic clustering) were applied, using R-packages (SensoMineR, FactoMineR and Factoshiny) for statistical procedures.

The descriptors were grouped based on categories from existing sensory vocabularies, and systematic differences between samples as a function of extraction method, tree part and tree species were seen (See figure). Lipid extracts were described with roasted, milky, fresh herbs notes and saltiness, while aqueous extracts were woodsy, resinous, earthy, bitter and astringent. Needles extracts were sweet, acidic with fruity and confectionery/pastry notes, whereas buds extracts were herbaceous (aromatic herbs, dry herbs, leaves).

Black spruce buds maceration and Balsam fir needles maceration were the most frequently identified to have good culinary potential, with 57 and 47% of participants, respectively. Varied proposals for culinary uses were collected, ranging from incorporation in an emulsion or a sauce to accompany halibut or duck, to use in a sorbet or a cranberry cocktail.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date10 Aug 2021
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2021
Event14th Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium
: Sustainable Sensory Science
- Online, Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 10 Aug 202012 Aug 2021
Conference number: 14


Conference14th Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium
Internet address

ID: 279826373