Sensory Characteristics of Reported Intake of Vegetables amongst Australian children

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Cox, David ORCID ID icon; Baird, Danielle ORCID ID icon; Hendrie, Gilly ORCID ID icon; Rebuli, Megan ORCID ID icon


Conference Material

13th Pangborn Sensory Symposium, Edinburgh, Scotland, 28 July - 1 August 2019


Sensory characteristics of vegetables are thought to be an obstacle to children’s intakes, contributing to consumption well below dietary recommendations. This project sought to understand the sensory characteristics of reported vegetable intakes by Australian children aged 2-18 years, including differences between children of different age cohorts, as a proxy for acceptance over time. Dietary data collected via 24-hour recall in the Australian National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey 2011/12 were augmented with the CSIRO Sensory-Diet database to examine the sensory properties of Australian children’s diets (n=2,812). Vegetables were defined using the WHO definition, excluding starchy tubers and legumes, and an Australian (AUS) definition which includes these starchy vegetables. Ten sensory characteristics were assessed by a trained panel (on 100 point scales) and a sensory density calculated (adjusting for energy (kJ) from vegetables). Differences between groups were considered significant when p0.01. Among vegetable consumers, vegetables contribute most to the bitterness of the whole diet (WHO 29%; AUS 23%), and made minor contributions to the overall flavour impact (WHO 13%; AUS 10%). Vegetables consumed were more sweet (mean WHO 14.2; AUS 10.4) than bitter (WHO 4.6; AUS 3.3). For overall flavour impact, sourness and hardness, sensory density was highest in children 4-8rs, and declined in older cohorts (p0.01). In contrast, fatty-mouthfeel and umami increased with age. No differences were found for bitterness or sweetness across age cohorts. These data suggest the vegetables in children’s diets tend to be bland, with sensory characteristics peaking at ages 4-8 years and declining in adolescence. Understanding the sensory characteristics of vegetables within current dietary patterns, may help to address barriers to consumption.


sensory vegetables intakes children

Sensory Processes, Perception and Performance


Conference Abstract


Cox, David; Baird, Danielle; Hendrie, Gilly; Rebuli, Megan. Sensory Characteristics of Reported Intake of Vegetables amongst Australian children. In: 13th Pangborn Sensory Symposium; 28 July - 1 August 2019; Edinburgh, Scotland. Elsevier; 2019. 2.

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