Development of quality control tools and a taste prediction model for rooibos

Jolley, Bianca (2014-12)

Thesis (MScFoodSc)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In this study quality control tools were developed for the rooibos industry, primarily to determine the quality of rooibos infusions. A considerable variation between samples of the same quality grade has been noted. As there are no guidelines or procedures in place to help minimise this inconsistency it was important to develop quality control tools, which could confront this problem. Both the sensory characteristics and phenolic composition of rooibos infusions were analysed in order to create and validate these quality control tools. Descriptive sensory analysis was used for the development of a targeted sensory wheel and sensory lexicon, to be used as quality control tools by the rooibos industry, and to validate the major rooibos sensory profiles. In order to ensure all possible variation was taken into account, 230 fermented rooibos samples were sourced from the Northern Cape and Western Cape areas within South Africa over a 3-year period (2011-2013). The aroma, flavour, taste and mouthfeel attributes found to associate with rooibos sensory quality were validated and assembled into a rooibos sensory wheel, which included the average intensity, as well as the percentage occurrence of each attribute. Two major characteristic sensory profiles prevalent within rooibos, namely the primary and secondary profiles, were identified. Both profiles had a sweet taste and an astringent mouthfeel, however, the primary sensory profile is predominantly made up of “rooibos-woody”, “fynbos-floral” and “honey” aroma notes, while “fruity-sweet”, “caramel” and “apricot” aroma notes are the predominant sensory attributes of the secondary profile. The predictive value of the phenolic compounds of the infusions towards the taste and mouthfeel attributes (“sweet”, “sour”, “bitter” and “astringent”) was examined using different regression analyses, namely, Pearson’s correlation, partial least squares regression (PLS) and step-wise regression. Correlations between individual phenolic compounds and the taste and mouthfeel attributes were found to be significant, but low. Although a large sample set (N = 260) spanning 5 years (2009-2013) and two production areas (Western Cape and Northern Cape, South Africa) was used, no individual phenolic compounds could be singled out as being responsible for a specific taste or mouthfeel attribute. Furthermore, no difference was found between the phenolic compositions of the infusions based on production area, a trend that was also seen for the sensory characterisation of rooibos infusions. Sorting, a rapid sensory profiling method was evaluated for its potential use as a quality control tool for the rooibos industry. Instructed sorting was shown to successfully determine rooibos sensory quality, especially based on the aroma quality of the infusions. However, determining the quality of the infusion based on flavour quality was more difficult, possibly due to the low sensory attribute intensities. Categorisation of rooibos samples based on the two major aroma profiles i.e. the primary and secondary characteristic profiles, was achieved with uninstructed sorting. The potential of using sorting as a rapid technique to determine both quality and characteristic aroma profiles, was therefore demonstrated, indicating its relevance as another quality control tool to the rooibos industry.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Gehaltebeheer hulpmiddels is as deel van hierdie studie vir die rooibosbedryf ontwikkel, hoofsaaklik om die sensoriese kwaliteit van rooibostee te bepaal. Aansienlike verskille is tussen monsters van dieselfde gehaltegraad opgemerk, primêr omdat daar in die wyer rooibosbedryf beperkte riglyne of prosedures in plek is om kwaliteitsverskille effektief te bepaal. Dit is as belangrik geag om gehaltebeheer hulpmiddels te ontwikkel om laasgenoemde probleem aan te spreek. Spesifieke gehaltebeheer hulpmiddels is dus vir hierdie studie ontwikkel en gevalideer deur die sensoriese eienskappe en fenoliese samestelling van rooibostee te analiseer. Beskrywende sensoriese analise (BSA) is gebruik om ‘n sensoriese wiel en leksikon vir die rooibosbedryf te ontwikkel en te valideer. Om alle moontlike produkvariasie te ondervang, is 230 gefermenteerde rooibos monsters afkomstig van die Noord-Kaap en Wes-Kaap areas in Suid-Afrika oor ‘n tydperk van drie jaar (2011-2013) verkry. Die aroma, geur, smaak en mondgevoel eienskappe wat met rooibos se sensoriese kwaliteit assosieer, is bevestig en uiteindelik gebruik om die sensoriese wiel te ontwikkel. Die gemiddelde intensiteit en persentasie voorkoms van elke eienskap is in die wiel ingesluit. Twee belangrike “karakteristieke” sensoriese profiele wat met rooibos geassosieer word, is geïdentifiseer, nl. die primêre en sekondêre sensoriese profiele. Tipies van beide sensoriese profiele is ‘n kenmerkende soet smaak en vrank mondgevoel, daarenteen bestaan die primêre sensoriese profiel hoofsaaklik uit "rooibos-houtagtige", "fynbos-blomagtige" en "heuning" aromas, terwyl "vrugtige-soet", "karamel" en "appelkoos" aromas die oorheersende sensoriese eienskappe van die sekondêre profiel is. Die korrelasie tussen die fenoliese verbindings en die smaak en mondgevoel eienskappe van rooibos ("soet", "suur", "bitter" en "vrankheid") is ondersoek met behulp van verskillende tipe regressieontledings, nl. Pearson se korrelasie, gedeeltelike kleinstekwadrate regressie (PLS) en stapsgewyse regressie. Korrelasies tussen individuele fenoliese verbindings en die smaak en mondgevoel eienskappe was laag, maar steeds betekenisvol. Alhoewel die uitgebreide stel monsters (N = 260) verteenwoordigend was van vyf oesjare (2009-2013) en twee produksiegebiede (Wes-Kaap en Noord-Kaap, Suid-Afrika), kon geen individuele fenoliese verbindings uitgesonder word as betekenisvolle voorspellers van spesifieke smaak of mondgevoel eienskappe nie. Verder is daar ook geen verskil tussen die verskillende produksie-areas wat betref fenoliese samestelling gevind nie. Soortgelyke resultate is bevind vir die sensoriese karakterisering van rooibostee. Sortering, 'n vinnige sensoriese profileringsmetode, is geëvalueer vir sy potensiële gebruik as 'n gehaltebeheer hulpmiddel vir die rooibosbedryf. Gestrukteerde sortering was suksesvol om rooibos se sensoriese kwaliteit, veral die algemene aroma kwaliteit van rooibos, te bepaal. Hierdie profileringsmetode was egter nie so suksesvol om rooibos se algemene geur, smaak en mondgevoeleienskappe te bepaal nie. Hierdie tendens kan moontlik toegeskryf word aan die betekenisvolle laer intensiteite van laasgenoemde sensoriese eienskappe. Die kategorisering van die rooibos monsters op grond van hul karakteristieke primêre en sekondêre sensoriese profiele is suksesvol deur middel van ongestrukteerde sortering bepaal. In die geheel gesien is die potensiaal van die sorteringstegniek as ‘n vinnige metode om die algemene sensoriese kwaliteit, asook die karakteristieke aroma profiele van rooibos te bepaal, dus bewys. Hierdie vinnige sensoriese profileringstegniek hou dus besliste voordele in vir die rooibosbedryf as dit kom by sensoriese gehaltebeheer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/95991
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