Sensory profile of a model energy drink with varying levels of functional ingredients - caffeine, ginseng, and taurine

Lauren C. Tamamoto, Shelly J. Schmidt, Soo Yeun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Energy drinks have increased in popularity in recent years due to the claimed energy boost provided by functional ingredients. A multitude of functional ingredients have been utilized; however, there is limited research on their sensory effects in energy drink formulations. A 13-member descriptive analysis panel was conducted to investigate the effects on the sensory and rheological properties of 3 common functional ingredients-caffeine, ginseng, and taurine-in a noncarbonated model energy drink solution. Combinations of these functional ingredients at 3 levels (low, medium, high) were added to create a total of 27 different solutions (3 × 3 × 3 factorial design). Analysis of variance was performed to evaluate the sensory effects of the varying concentrations of functional ingredients in solution. Principal component analysis (PCA) was performed to summarize the relationship among the attributes and solutions. In general, high levels of caffeine in solution resulted in low ratings of fruity attributes and high ratings of bitter tea and fruit bitter attributes. The high level of ginseng in solution was characterized by high ratings of bitter attributes. A horns effect was observed as the sweet, artificial lemon-lime, pear, mango, and pineapple attributes were rated lower in intensity with increased ginseng levels. Taurine levels of up to 416 mg/100 mL had no significant effect on the sensory attribute ratings of the model energy drink solutions. These findings can be utilized to predict the changes in sensory characteristics when formulating energy drinks containing these popular functional ingredients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S271-S278
JournalJournal of food science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Caffeine
  • Descriptive analysis
  • Energy drinks
  • Functional ingredients
  • Ginseng
  • Taurine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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