Hedonic rating coupled with sensory profiles using CATA for six whole roasted or deep-fried insects among Danish 11-13-year-old children

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The consumption of insects is not rooted in traditional Western culture, which creates a barrier to integrate insects into our diets, especially among preadolescents. This study was executed during a Danish science outreach week to educate children on eating insects through educational activities. 11–13-y.o. children were invited to taste six different types of whole roasted or deep-fried insects (grasshoppers, cricket, bee larvae, wax moth larvae, buffalo worms and mealworms), asked to rate their liking (15-point hedonic scale) and describe the sensory properties for each insect (50 sensory attributes using Check-All-That-Apply format). Food neophobia was assessed using the Food Neophobia Test Tool to explore the link between food neophobia and hedonic responses of insects. Results showed significant differences in sensory and hedonic responses (p < 0.0001, respectively) between insect types. In general, insects showed low mean liking. They were distributed in two significantly different groups. Mealworms (6.9), buffalo worms (6.6), and bee larvae (6.4) had higher mean liking compared to crickets (5.2), wax moth larvae (5.1), and grasshoppers (4.7). Furthermore, 19 descriptors discriminated between insects demonstrating that insects vary in sensory characteristics. “Crunchy” was significantly associated with liking, highlighting the importance of this sensory attribute when promoting the consumption of edible insects in preadolescents. Insect liking decreased with increasing levels of food neophobia, which was also affected by age- and gender. The study offers new insights into the acceptance and sensory properties of commercial insects that can be used to promote insect consumption and for future product development targeted at this group.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105094
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2024

    Research areas

  • Acceptance, CATA, Children, Descriptive analysis, Insects, Sensory description

ID: 379197133