A study published in the Journal of Food Science found that adding prebiotics in the form of fructooligosaccharides and antioxidants from goji berry could change the taste and texture of white chocolate, but consumers still gave it high ratings.
Despite goji berries’ bitter aftertaste, most scores were still above six on a nine-point scale among 120 people who participated in the study. This could provide opportunity for confectionery manufacturers to fortify white chocolate with prebiotics and antioxidants.
The prebiotics added to the chocolate have a viscous consistency—which improves body and mouthfeel—along with health benefits. Consumers tended to rate the prebiotic chocolate highly when it was made with sugar—as compared to sucralose or stevia—and lower when combined with goji berry.
Overall, there was very little difference in consumer acceptance between a control sample, and several others which features either prebiotics, goji berry and/or sugar alternatives.
The study applied the qualitative descriptive analysis methodology, and performed an acceptance test on 120 consumers aged 18-42 years old from both genders. Seven different white chocolate formulations were created for the analysis. The control batch was sweetened with sucrose, three batches of prebiotic chocolates were sweetened with sucrose, sucralose, or stevia; another three batches of the prebiotic chocolate contained goji berry.
Differences in ratings were observed when the goji berry fruit was added to the white chocolates. The fruit was found to lessen the perception of some ingredient characteristics such as milk powder aroma, milk powder flavour, sweet aroma, sweet taste, and sweet aftertaste while enhancing other attributes including bitter taste, bitter aftertaste, and sharpness in taste.
“The development of functional white chocolate containing prebiotics and antioxidant source—goji berry—with the option of sucrose replacement, may be a promising alternative for the food industry. This kind of product with better nutritional value may attend the consumers’ market tendency,” the study concluded.