Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Food, Nutrition, and Culinary Science


Condrasky, Margaret

Committee Member

Coffee , Aubrey

Committee Member

Grubb , Alan


The purpose of this study was to determine the driving factors in food choice. The Flavor Pyramid, introduced by Steven Kaun, indicates that the foundation of consumer food choice is emotional (Kaun, 2005). This study serves as a preliminary means to validate the role of the emotional component of food choice in today's market. Four gingerbread formulas, one from 1430, 1861, 2004, and a new product, were evaluated in a sensory panel in order to collect preliminary data on the role that food emotions play in consumer preference. Nearly sixty-six percent of all panelists chose the 2004 recipe as the preferred product. The 2004 recipe also received the highest hedonic scores for texture, flavor, and appearance, while the 1430 recipe received the highest scores for aroma. Panelists were also asked what emotions were evoked when consuming gingerbread, and the most popular answer was holiday/Christmas memories, followed by happiness. These findings can be used to develop a new product which maintains the characteristics of the 2004 recipe, while incorporating different, healthy ingredients, available through advances in technology and discoveries through the years.

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Food Science Commons