The purpose of this paper is to assess how shelf-life labelling affects the sensory acceptability of potato snacks.
The panel of assessors determined the key sensory attributes. Subsequently, affective sensory consumer testing was conducted. The samples of potato snacks with labels suggesting valid and false shelf life or without dating information were presented to 110 students. They rated the degree of colour intensity, oxidised flavour and crispness liking with the use of hedonic scale and accepted or rejected the sample. The testing was carried out in a sensory laboratory.
Shelf-life labelling affects the overall acceptability of potato snacks, perception of crispness and oxidative flavour. These attributes were rated less favourably when the label suggested post-expiration. The influence of shelf-life labelling decreased with storage time period. Consumers are more willing to trust their own perception than labelling.
The product may be rejected not only because of quality depletion when the shelf life is overestimated, but also as a result of denigration when the shelf life is underestimated.
Date legislation is necessary but it may be not sufficient without consumer education on food labelling and safety.
Research on the influence of shelf-life labelling on the sensory acceptability of food is scarce. Understanding how consumers are affected by shelf-life information has important implications for both public policy as well as food manufacturers.
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