Developing a Lexicon for Spirit Flavors

December 16/Athens, Greece/Technology Business Journal -- "Ouzo and tsipouro belong to the group of anise-flavored spirits that are produced in countries around the Mediterranean Sea. Despite the high commercial value of these spirits, there has previously been no dedicated lexicon to describe their sensory properties," scientists in Athens, Greece, report.

"Six commercial samples of ouzo and three commercial samples of tsipouro, selected from different regions of Greece, were analyzed using gas chromatography and sensory analysis. Their attributes (odor, taste and aftertaste) were examined in order to create a set of descriptors. Spider webs and principal components analysis (PCA) were used to create a lexicon describing the samples and demonstrating the differences between the two alcoholic beverages. from chemical and sensory analyses were combined using PCA and factor analysis. The ability of assessors to separate the products with real differences was confirmed using cluster analysis. A set of descriptors, suitable for these two products, was created and with its use the two products could be discriminated by sensory analysis. The descriptors used for odor were anise, mastic, sweet, alcoholic, herbal, vanilla, menthol and strong; for taste they were sweet, alcoholic, rich, spicy, artificial, aromatic, menthol and caustic; and for aftertaste they were sweet, alcoholic, artificial, spicy and bitter," wrote M. Tsachaki and colleagues, University of Athens.

The researchers concluded, "These descriptors should be a useful methodological tool in future research and development (R&D), in both industry and academia, when studying alcoholic beverages."

Tsachaki and colleagues published their study in Flavour and Fragrance Journal ("Development of a Suitable Lexicon for Sensory Studies of the Anise-flavoured Spirits Ouzo and Tsipouro." Flavour and Fragrance Journal, 2010;25(6):468-474).

For additional information, contact I. Zabetakis, University of Athens, Dept. of Chemical, Food Chemical Laboratory, GR-15771 Athens, Greece.

From the December 17, 2010, Prepared Foods' Daily News
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