Napping-Ultra Flash Profile as a Tool for Category Identification and Subsequent Model System Formulation of Caramel Corn Products

Emily Mayhew, Shelly Schmidt, Soo Yeun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In a novel approach to formulation, the flash descriptive profiling technique Napping-Ultra Flash Profile (Napping-UFP) was used to characterize a wide range of commercial caramel corn products. The objectives were to identify product categories, develop model systems based on product categories, and correlate analytical parameters with sensory terms generated through the Napping-UFP exercise. In one 2 h session, 12 panelists participated in 4 Napping-UFP exercises, describing and grouping, on a 43×56 cm paper sheet, 12 commercial caramel corn samples by degree of similarity, globally and in terms of aroma-by-mouth, texture, and taste. The coordinates of each sample's placement on the paper sheet and descriptive terms generated by the panelists were used to conduct Multiple Factor Analysis (MFA) and hierarchical clustering of the samples. Strong trends in the clustering of samples across the 4 Napping-UFP exercises resulted in the determination of 3 overarching types of commercial caramel corn: "small-scale dark" (typified by burnt, rich caramel corn), "large-scale light" (typified by light and buttery caramel corn), and "large-scale dark" (typified by sweet and molasses-like caramel corn). Representative samples that best exemplified the properties of each category were used as guides in the formulation of 3 model systems that represent the spread of commercial caramel corn products. Analytical testing of the commercial products, including aw measurement, moisture content determination, and thermal characterization via differential scanning calorimetry, were conducted and results related to sensory descriptors using Spearman's correlation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S1782-S1790
JournalJournal of food science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • caramel corn
  • glass transition
  • model system formulation
  • napping
  • ultra flash profiling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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