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Influence of sensory complexity on preferences for novel gourmet dairy desserts. Does Berlyne’s theory apply to desserts?

Abstract : Berlyne's theory of hedonic appreciation in experimental esthetics includes complexity as a relevant dimension in the development of preferences. However, the soundness of this theory in the field of food and beverages has been challenged. The work reported here investigates the influence of perceived complexity on consumers' preferences for some dairy desserts. Given the limits on sensory complexity reported in the literature, we (i) controlled for consumers' level of familiarity with the products, (ii) used enough products to be able to test a quadratic model, (iii) evaluated sensory complexity with consumers, and (iv) analyzed data after clustering. Seven gourmet dairy desserts were tested by 145 French consumers, unfamiliar with this type of product, in a quantitative study. Products were also sensory-characterized by a panel using an adaptation of Sequential Profiling. We distinguished four groups of consumers with different perceptions of sensory complexity. For one group, the influence of complexity on preference was in line with Berlyne's theory. Individual differences were also underlined between groups as the self-reported eating style and the level of familiarity with dairy products. Finally, our results confirm the importance of a dynamic evaluation to understand sensory complexity. Indeed, our findings show the influence of the number of sensations and their temporal evolution on sensory complexity. For the first time, we underline the potential effect of texture and flavor sensations on perceived complexity.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02916044
Contributor : Christopher Lallemant <>
Submitted on : Monday, August 17, 2020 - 11:14:56 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 15, 2021 - 2:57:32 PM

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Julie Palczak, David Blumenthal, Julien Delarue. Influence of sensory complexity on preferences for novel gourmet dairy desserts. Does Berlyne’s theory apply to desserts?. Food Quality and Preference, Elsevier, 2020, 84, pp.103957. ⟨10.1016/j.foodqual.2020.103957⟩. ⟨hal-02916044⟩

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