Taste Panel Perception of Sweetness as it Correlates to Refractometer Measurements and HPLC Analysis of Sugar Content

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  • 1 Clemson Univ., Plant and Environmental Sciences, Charleston, SC 29414
  • | 2 Clemson Univ., Plant and Environmental Sciences, Charleston, SC 29414
  • | 3 Clemson Univ., Plant and Environmental Sciences, Charleston, SC 29414

Taste panel perception and preference of sweetness in three phenotypes (su, se and sh2) of sweet corn harvested at three maturities (early, mature and late) were compared to refractometer measurements and HPLC analysis of fructose, sucrose, and glucose. Panelist rating of sweetness and acceptability significantly correlated with HPLC analysis. These correlations were found for sucrose and total sugars present (for sweetness, r2 = 0.70 and 0.61; acceptability, r2 = 0.64 and 0.55). Sucrose significantly correlated with the total sugars present (r2 = 0.95). The panelists' perception of flavor also correlated significantly with the amount of sucrose present and total sugars (r2 = 0.66 and 0.59, respectively). Sucrose content was significantly different between se, sh2 and su, with sh2 having the highest level. Taste panels indicated this difference but showed not significant differnece between se and sh2 acceptablity. Su was only acceptable to panelists at early maturity. °Brix did not reflect the taste panels scores and HPLC measurements postively. Soluble solids and taste panel scores were negatively correlated in both the panel's perception of sweetness and acceptability (r2 = -0.66 and -0.66, respectively) which indicates that as panel scores decreased °Brix increased. Comparison of soluble solids to HPLC analysis, indicate that °Brix was negatively correlated to sucrose and total sugar content, and that as soluble solids increased, the sucrose or total sugar concentration remained constant or decreased. Soluble solids measurements have been positively correlated with sucrose levels in other crops; but this was not the case with sweet corn.

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