Date of Award

August 2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Food Science and Human Nutrition

Committee Member

Andrew R Hurley

Committee Member

Feng Chen

Committee Member

Kay Cooksey

Abstract

This research aims to understand consumer’s preference by self-reported overall liking (hedonic scores) and facial expressions elicited by beverages measured by automated facial analysis software (AFEA). Two independent studies were included:

In study 1-Observing and comparing emotions measured through AFEA and hedonic response on basic tastes (N=32), consumers’ facial expressions evoked by bitter and sweet taste solution at high concentrations (1.08g/L and 48.0g/L respectively) (ISO 8586- 1:1993) and water were studied. It concluded that the overall liking of water was significantly higher than bitter and sweet (p<0.05); facial expressions could be used to discriminate disliked samples from others: bitter as the most disliked sample (in terms of hedonic scores) has significant (p<0.05) higher probability to elicit negative emotions (EV anger=0.064 and sadness=0.237) than water (EV anger=0.009 and sadness=0.035) and sweet (EV anger=0.016 and sadness=0.069); significant (p<0.05) negative correlations were found in bitter tastes between negative emotions [disgust (r=-0.451), sad (r=-0.377), contempt (r=-0.396)] and overall liking.

In study 2- The influence of labeling on consumer emotion and hedonic liking of kombucha (N=31), whether package label colors influence emotions reflected by facial expressions and traditional 9-point hedonic liking scores on kombucha were studied. It concluded that the mean overall liking of kombucha in a green label (7.19) was significantly (p<0.1) higher than overall liking of kombucha in a yellow label (6.58). Facial expressions evoked by kombucha were generally low in intensities; although no significant differences existed in facial expressions evoked by two labels (p>0.05), the yellow label was observed to have higher probability to stimulate negative emotion (EV disgust=1.139) than green label (EV disgust=1.137); overall liking of green label kombucha sample and yellow one were all negatively correlated with anger.

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