Impact of cocoa contents(%) on consumers acceptance of dark origin and non-origin chocolates

Lisa-Maria Oberrauter, Renata Januszewska, Hans Peter Stüger, Pascal Schlich, Dorota Majchrzak

Bitter taste and astringency potentially limit consumers’ acceptance of chocolates with higher cocoa contents (%cc).


The present study evaluated consumers acceptability of 5 commercial dark origin (OR; 66.8-80.1%cc) and 5 non-origin (N-OR; 54.5-80.0%cc) chocolates with different cocoa contents using a 9-point hedonic scale. In order to gain better insight in consumers’ choices, the temporality of bitterness and astringency as well as sweet taste as covering agent were investigated during the tasting period (mastication, aftertaste) applying Temporal Dominance of Sensations (TDS).


As evidenced by TDS difference curves, the temporal profiles of OR chocolates were dominated by bitter taste (mastication period) and an astringent mouthfeel (aftertaste) independent of %cc. Thus, only weak correlations were found between the duration of dominant sensations in bitterness, astringency as well as sweetness and %cc. In comparison, N-OR chocolates were characterized by sweetness along the entire tasting period. Cocoa content (%) were shown to highly affect the dominance duration of all three investigated attributes.


Whereas the persistence of dominant sweet and bitter sensations had no significant (p > 0.05) impact on consumers acceptance, a strong significant (p < 0.05) negative correlation was observed between the dominance duration of astringency and acceptability in both, OR and N-OR chocolates (r = - 0.998 and r = - 0.799, respectively). Interestingly, %cc did not influence consumers acceptance of both types of evaluated dark chocolates significantly (p > 0.05) (r = 0.039 and r = 0.046 for OR and N-OR chocolates, respectively).


The results indicate a strong influence of cocoa quality and local conditions on the temporal profile of OR and N-OR chocolates in addition to %cc. Consumers acceptance was driven by balanced sweet- and bitterness dominances. Persistent astringency elicited strong negative consumer responses, whereas %cc had no impact at all.


Department für Ernährungswissenschaften
Externe Organisation(en)
Ghent University , Barry Callebaut Belgium nv, INRA - Institut national de la recherche agronomique, Université de Bourgogne
ÖFOS 2012
303009 Ernährungswissenschaften
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