Prebiotic and antioxidant-packed white chocolate: 'A promising opportunity for industry'

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

Consumers responded positively to white chocolate featuring both goji berries and prebiotics. ©iStock
Consumers responded positively to white chocolate featuring both goji berries and prebiotics. ©iStock
Adding prebiotics and an antioxidant source to white chocolate can alter its taste and texture, but a new sensory analysis reported that consumers still ranked it highly, with researchers concluding it provides new product opportunities for industry.

The addition of a prebiotic appears to be particulary promising, while researchers also pointed out that despite concerns that goji berry could produce a bitter aftertaste, the consumer acceptance scores were mostly above six on a nine-point scale.

Overall, there was very little difference in consumer acceptance between a control sample, and several others which featured either/or prebiotics, goji berry and sugar replacements.

“The development of functional white chocolate containing prebiotics fructooligosaccharides (FOS), and antioxidant source (goji berry), with the option of sucrose replacement, may be a promising alternative for the food industry,”​ they wrote in the Journal of Food Science​.

Qualitative analysis

Goji berry, a fruit rich in antioxidants grown mostly in Asia, has previously been found to have positive effects on metabolism, ageing, glucose control (diabetes), and the immune system. On the other hand, FOS has a viscous consistency – bringing improved body and mouthfeel properties in food, as well as providing prebiotic benefits.

Using qualitative descriptive analysis, the study performed the acceptance test on 120 consumers (67% female and 33% male) aged 18-42 years old.

Seven different white chocolate formulations were made: Control was sweetened with sucrose; three batches of prebiotic chocolates were sweetened with either sucrose, sucralose or stevia; while another three batches of the prebiotic chocolates also added goji berry.

The consumers evaluated the samples based on appearance, aroma, texture and overall liking.

Perception evalutaion

“The prebiotic white chocolate samples showed similar consumers’ acceptance for all attributes regardless of the sweeteners used except for the samples with sucrose replacers, which showed lower acceptance for the attribute flavour, when compared to the control,”​ the study revealed.

The main differences observed in the sensory descriptive analysis arose when the prebiotic white chocolates were combined with the fruit.

Goji berry was found to reduce the perception of some attributes as milk powder aroma, milk powder flavor, sweet aroma, sweet taste, and sweet aftertaste while enhancing other attributes including bitter taste, bitter aftertaste, astringency, and adherence.

"However, consumer's acceptance was positive (with scores above six on a nine-point scale) for all white chocolate samples. The external preference map demonstrated no consumers’ preferences for a specific sample," ​added the researchers.

"The development of functional white chocolate containing prebiotics (FOS) and antioxidant source (goji berry), with the option of sucrose replacement, may be a promising alternative for the food industry. This kind of product with better nutritional value may attend the consumers’ market tendency,"​ the study concluded.


Source: Journal of Food Science

DOI: 10.1111/1750-3841.13632

“Sensory profile and consumer acceptability of prebiotic white chocolate with sucrose substitutes and the addition of goji berry (Lycium barbarum)”

Authors:  Jana´ına Madruga, Morais Ferreira et al​.

Probiota Asia 2017​ 

Probiota Asia 2017 Master logo

The Probiota series is growing, and in October 2017, Singapore will host the first ever Probiota Asia event. Building on the success of the annual global Probiota and Probiota Americas events, Probiota Asia will focus exclusively on this high growth market and the challenges it faces.

Save the date: 11-13 October 2017

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