Decreased gustatory and olfactory capacity is one of the problems caused by tobacco use. The objectives of this study were to determine the sensory profile of six grape nectar samples sweetened with different sweeteners and to verify the drivers of liking in two distinct consumer groups: smokers and nonsmokers. The sensory profile was constructed by twelve trained panelists using quantitative descriptive analysis (QDA). Consumer tests were performed with 112 smokers and 112 nonsmokers. Partial least squares regression analyses was used to identify the drivers of acceptance and rejection of the grape nectars among the two consumer groups. According to the QDA, the samples differed regarding six of the nineteen attributes generated. The absolute averages of the affective test were lower in the group of smokers; possibly because smoking influences acceptance and eating preferences, especially with regard to sweet foods. The results showed that the grape flavor was the major driver of preference for acceptance of the nectar, while astringency, wine aroma, bitterness and sweetness, and bitter aftertaste were drivers of rejection in the two groups of consumers, with some differences between the groups.
quantitative descriptive analysis; partial least squares regression; neotame; sucralose; sensory analysis; fruit nectar