Does information about sugar source influence consumer liking of products made with beet and cane sugars?

Brittany L. Urbanus, Shelly J. Schmidt, Soo Yeun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Beet sugar contains an off-aroma, which was hypothesized to generate expectations on the acceptability of a product made with beet sugar. Thus, the objective of this study was to assess the impact of information about the sugar source (beet vs. cane) on the overall liking of an orange-flavored beverage. One hundred panelists evaluated an orange-flavored powdered beverage mix and beverage made with beet and cane sugars using a 5-phase testing protocol involving a tetrad test and hedonic ratings performed under blind and informed conditions. Tetrad test results indicated that there was a significant difference (P < 0.05) between the beverage mix made with beet sugar and cane sugar; however, no difference was found between the beverage made with beet sugar and cane sugar. Hedonic ratings revealed the significance of information conditions on the panelists evaluation of sugar (F = 24.67, P < 0.001); however, no difference in the liking was identified for the beverage mix or beverage. Average hedonic scores were higher under informed condition compared to blind condition for all products, possibly because labels tend to reduce uncertainty about a product. Results from this study are representative of the responses from the general population and suggest that they are not affected by sugar source information in a beverage product. Based on concerns with the use of beet sugar expressed in the popular press, there may be a subgroup of the population that has a preconceived bias about sugar sources due to their prior experiences and knowledge and, thus, would be influenced by labels indicating the sugar source used in a product.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S2362-S2367
JournalJournal of food science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Beet
  • Cane
  • Hedonic test
  • Sugar
  • Tetrad test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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