Sensory characteristics, brand and probiotic claim on the overall liking of commercial probiotic fermented milks: Which one is more relevant?
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The effect of brand and probiotic claim of four commercial probiotic fermented milks (A, B, C, and D) on the overall liking was evaluated, as well the influence of the intrinsic sensory characteristics of the products. The probiotic fermented milks were evaluated through a sequence of three acceptance tests (blind test, brand expectation test, probiotic claim test) using the nine-point structured hedonic scale, and through descriptive analysis. Information about brand and probiotic claim had little impact on the overall liking of the commercial probiotic fermented milks. The knowledge about the brand enhanced the overall liking only for one product, as well reduced the risk relative of two products of receiving scores under five at the nine-point hedonic scale. Information about probiotic claim only reduced the relative risk for one product. On the other hand, the sensory profile influenced the overall liking of the probiotic fermented milks. The product A, described by visual viscosity, oral viscosity and sweet taste, and the products B and C, described by cream color, acid odor and acid taste, had similar overall liking, while the product D had lower overall liking and it was not described by any attribute. Therefore, we conclude that brand and probiotic claim (non-sensory factors) are essential to study and understand the consumer behavior on food, but the intrinsic sensory characteristics are more relevant to commercial probiotic fermented milks in specific, and fundamental to overall liking of these products.