Master of Science (MS)


School of Nutrition and Food Sciences

Document Type



Product information given to consumers can be used to improve food choices; however, consumers may respond differently depending on the given information. Nutritional information can serve as an instrument to positively influence healthier food choices and purchase intent. The market for gluten-free products reached $5.5 billion in 2015; however, there is a need for development of acceptable gluten-free and sugar-free products driven by consumers who are nowadays more health conscious. Muffin, a high calorie baked-good product, is very popular among consumers and known for its pleasant aroma and sweet taste qualities. There are a number of commercial gluten-free muffin products, but only a few gluten-free sugar-free or reduced-sugar muffins. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to evaluate effects of reducing the sugar level and health benefit statements on the physicochemical properties and consumer acceptability, emotion and purchase intent of gluten-free banana muffins using stevia as a sucrose replacement at varying levels (0, 50, and 100%). Reducing sucrose by 50% did not significantly decrease consumer acceptability (color, odor, taste, sweetness, moistness, softness, stickiness and overall liking), positive emotions (calm, good, happy, healthy, pleasant, pleased, satisfied and wellness) and purchase intent before health benefit information was displayed. However, reducing sucrose by 100% had significantly negative effects on consumer acceptability and positive emotions (calm, good, happy, pleasant, pleased and satisfied). Health benefit statements had a positive effect on overall liking, purchase intent, and intensities of the emotions calm, good, happy, healthy and pleased for both 50 and 100% sucrose reductions. Additionally, the emotions happy and wellness became significant predictors of purchase intent after health benefit statements were provided. Overall, sugar reduction affected physicochemical and consumer perception of gluten-free banana muffins. Adding 100% Stevia tended to decrease liking scores, and this negative effect was more pronounced for sweet and taste-related attributes than for texture and color-related attributes. The reduced-sugar formulation containing 50% sucrose presented acceptable sensory and physicochemical qualities.



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Committee Chair

Prinyawiwatkul, Witoon



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Life Sciences Commons