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Tiffany D. Wiese and Melani W. Duffrin

The pawpaw (Asimina triloba) is a 3- to 6-inch (7.6 to 15.2 cm) edible fruit that contains two rows of almond-size seeds surrounded by yellow to orange-colored fl esh, with the skin ranging from green to yellow when ripe. The custard-like texture of the pawpaw fruit and its nutrient composition makes it an excellent candidate as a fat-reducing agent in baked goods. Given the properties of the paw-paw fruit, it may prove to be a favorable replacement for fat in various food formulations. The objective of this study was to investigate the sensory properties of plain shortened cake (PSC) using pawpaw fruit puree as a partial replacement for fat in the food formulation. The cakes were prepared by replacing about 25%, 50%, and 75% of the fat with pawpaw fruit puree and were compared to a control using 100% vegetable shortening. The PSC samples were evaluated using untrained panelists (n=105) with a scorecard using a hedonic scale to measure sensory characteristics. Mean scores suggested that panelists liked all cake samples slightly to extremely. Panelists did not detect differences between the control and 25% fat replacement sample for all sensory attributes. However, notable preference differences were detected between the control and 25% samples and the 50% and 75% samples for the attributes of color, texture, tenderness, and overall acceptability. Panelists indicated that 25% fat replacement with pawpaw fruit puree is acceptable in a PSC formula. The notable differences in color, texture, tenderness, and overall acceptability attributes may be overcome with further research and product development. Higher levels of fat replacement may prove to be acceptable in other types of cake formulations and further testing of the various varieties of pawpaw fruit as a fat-replacement in baked goods is warranted.