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Individual differences in taste perception and bitterness masking

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The unpleasant bitter taste found in many nutritious vegetables may deter people from consuming a healthy diet. We investigated individual differences in taste perception and whether these differences influence the effectiveness of bitterness masking. To test whether phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) `supertasters'

The unpleasant bitter taste found in many nutritious vegetables may deter people from consuming a healthy diet. We investigated individual differences in taste perception and whether these differences influence the effectiveness of bitterness masking. To test whether phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) `supertasters' also taste salt and sugar with greater intensity, as suggested by Bartoshuk and colleagues (2004), we infused strips of paper with salt water or sugar water. The bitterness rating of the PTC strip had a significant positive linear relationship with ratings of both the intensity of sweet and salt, but the effect sizes were very low, suggesting that the PTC strip does not give a complete picture of tasting ability. Next we investigated whether various seasonings could mask the bitter taste of vegetables and whether this varied with tasting ability. We found that sugar decreased bitterness and lemon decreased liking for vegetables of varying degrees of bitterness. The results did not differ by ability to taste any of the flavors. Therefore, even though there are remarkable individual differences in taste perception, sugar can be used to improve the initial palatability of vegetables and increase their acceptance and consumption.

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2012

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Economic analysis of implementing electronic traceability system for fresh produce importers

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The global demand and trade for fruits and vegetables is increasing at national and international levels. The fresh fruits and vegetables supply chain are highly vulnerable to contamination and can be easily spoiled due to their perishable nature. Due to

The global demand and trade for fruits and vegetables is increasing at national and international levels. The fresh fruits and vegetables supply chain are highly vulnerable to contamination and can be easily spoiled due to their perishable nature. Due to increases in fresh fruit and vegetable trade shipment volume between countries, the fresh food supply chain area is the highly susceptible and frequently prone to food contamination. The inability of firms in the fresh food business to have a good supply chain visibility and tracking system is one of the prominent reasons for food safety failure. Therefore, in order to avoid food safety risk and to supply safe food to consumers, the firms need to have an efficient traceability system in their supply chain. Most of the research in the food supply chain area suggests the implementation of a highly efficient tracking system called RFID (Radio frequency identification) technology to firms in the food industry. The medium scale firms in the fresh food supply chain business are skeptical about implementing the RFID technology equipped traceability system due to its high cost of investment and low margins on fresh food sales. This research developed two methods to measure the probability of food safety risk in food supply chain. These methods use the information gain from RFID traceability systems as a tool to measure the amount of risk in the fresh food supply chain. The stochastic optimization model is applied in this study to determine the risk premium by investing in RFID technology over the electronic barcode traceability system. The results show that there is a reduction in buyer (Type II error) and seller risk (Type I error) for RFID technology employed traceability system compared to electronic barcode system. It is found from stochastic optimization results that there is a positive risk premium by investing in RFID traceability system over the current systems and suggests the implementation of RFID traceability system for complex medium scale fresh produce imports to reduce the food safety risks. This research encourages the food industries and government agencies to evaluate alternatives to update supply chain system with RFID technology.

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2011