Sensory evaluation and quality assessment of an alternative inner coating film in yogurt cartons
The dairy food industry is continuously striving towards products with higher quality and longer shelf-life available to the customer at low prices. Arla Foods in Linköping, Sweden, is currently investigating the possibilities of changing the material in yogurt packaging containers by replacing the currently used carton with a different and cheaper alternative. A successful switch will give the company an economical advantage without affecting the sensory attributes (smell, taste, sight, and consistency), aroma profile or other important trademarks of the yogurt. This study is designed to examine and compare yogurt that has been stored in different packaging cartons, one coated with a single-layered low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and one coated with a currently used multi-layered ethylene-vinyl alcohol (EVOH).
The study was based on the analysis and measurement of sensory attributes performed by experts, physical properties in laboratory and chemical composition in GC-FID/MS together with a discriminative test where a group of people would identify any difference between the yogurts. Together, these analyses would provide an explanation about any differences between the packaging materials by connecting physical, chemical and/or sensory characteristics. The collected results would give a better and more comprehensive picture than each analysis would do separately.
The results from the study show that there is a difference between yogurts stored in LDPE-based containers and yogurts stored in EVOH-based containers and that the product was chemically affected, mainly by the level of oxygen in contact with the food. The overall assessment is that the largest difference was discovered in the taste.
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