Drivers of Liking in a Model Retorted Creamy Tomato Soup System with Varying Levels of Sodium, Fat, and Herbs

Ginnefer O. Cox, Youngsoo Lee, Soo Yeun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: Targeting both sodium and fat reduction in processed foods while maintaining consumer acceptance is a challenge in the food industry due to the innate liking by humans toward both ingredients. Canned soup is one of the leading processed food categories containing high quantities of sodium. Efforts to reduce both sodium and fat content in canned soup products have been problematic due to resulting decreased consumer acceptance. The objective of this study was to characterize the changes in the drivers of liking when sodium, fat, and herb levels are varied in a model retorted soup system. A creamy tomato soup system was developed containing four fat levels (free, low, reduced, regular), three sodium levels (low, reduced, regular), and two herb levels (with, without). Ninety-six consumers rated the soups for overall liking on a 9-point hedonic scale. A descriptive analysis panel composed of 10 trained panelists profiled the sensory attributes among the soups. Higher sodium level was found to be a driver of liking when fat content was reduced. Soups were significantly different in saltiness (taste) and tomato (aroma-by-mouth), based on varying fat and sodium levels. Herb content increased overall liking of lower sodium and fat soups and impacted attribute characterization of soups. Future steps would include approaches to increase overall liking of lower fat and sodium soups. Formulation modifications that would decrease intensities of attributes that characterize lower fat and sodium soups, such as sour (taste and aftertaste), grainy (texture), and darkness (appearance), will aid in higher consumer acceptance of these soups. Practical Application: With hypertensive individuals requiring reductions of both dietary sodium and fat, food products lower in fat and sodium while maintaining sensory acceptability are needed. Identifying drivers of liking when sodium and fat levels are reduced in processed food systems can assist in product reformulation to increase overall liking. Additionally, understanding the impact of herbs in consumer acceptance of lower sodium and fat food products will also contribute to further advances in product development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2610-2618
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of food science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • consumer testing
  • descriptive analysis
  • fat
  • herb
  • sodium
  • soup

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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