Measuring Sensory and Functional Properties
ASSESSING the sensory and functional properties of food products is an important area in quality control, product development and determining consumer acceptance. The major aspects measured by researchers include flavor, texture and water-and fat-holding capacities. These aspects affect the taste, mouth feel, juiciness and overall eating characteristics of food products (appearance was discussed in the previous chapter). Poultry products showing problems with any of these areas, such as mushy texture, or water in the package, will be deemed unacceptable by the consumer. Because water usually represents the largest component in poultry and other meat products (65-80% moisture), it is essential to have a good understanding of the interactions between water, protein, fat and other additives (e.g., hydrocolloid gums).