Taste characteristics based quantitative and qualitative evaluation of ginseng adulteration

Shaoqing Cui, Liangcheng Yang, Jun Wang, Xinlei Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adulteration of American ginseng with Asian ginseng is common and has caused much damage to customers. Panel evaluation is commonly used to determine their differences, but it is subjective. Chemical instruments are used to identify critical compounds but they are time-consuming and expensive. Therefore, a fast, accurate and convenient method is required. A taste sensing system, combining both advantages of the above two technologies, provides a novel potential technology for determining ginseng adulteration. The aim is to build appropriate models to distinguish and predict ginseng adulteration by using taste characteristics. RESULTS: It was found that ginsenoside contents decreased linearly (R2=0.92) with mixed ratios. A bioplot of principal component analysis showed a good performance in classing samples with the first two principal components reaching 89.7%, and it was noted that it was the bitterness, astringency, aftertaste of bitterness and astringency, and saltiness leading the successful determination. After factor screening, bitterness, astringency, aftertaste of bitterness and saltiness were employed to build latent models. Tastes of bitterness, astringency and aftertaste bitterness were demonstrated to be most effective in predicting adulteration ratio, mean while, bitterness and aftertaste bitterness turned out to be most effective in ginsenoside content prediction. CONCLUSION: Taste characteristics of adulterated ginsengs, considered as taste fingerprint, can provide novel guidance for determining the adulteration of American and Asian ginseng.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1535-1543
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Issue number7
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • Adulteration
  • American ginseng
  • Asian ginseng
  • Prediction model
  • Taste characteristics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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