Discrimination among astringent samples is affected by choice of palate cleanser

Catherine A. Lee, Zata M. Vickers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Our objective was to assess six palate cleansers and two cleansing protocols for their ability to limit buildup and enhance discrimination of tannin-containing and acidic astringent solutions. Palate cleansers included water, carboxymethylcellulose, crackers, milk, chewing wax, or nothing. Twenty-nine panelists, randomly divided into two groups, participated in a 12-session series in which they rated the astringency of either six tannin or hydrochloric acid solutions. Panelists used a single palate cleanser at each session according to one of two cleansing protocols. The palate cleansers did not differ in their ability to prevent astringency buildup from occurring. Panelists were best able to discriminate among the astringency of the tannin solutions when water or nothing was used as a palate cleanser. Water or nothing also improved discrimination among the acid samples, but only at low levels of astringency. Astringency discrimination and buildup were not affected by the cleansing protocol. Our results indicate that using water or nothing as a palate cleanser will facilitate detection of sensory differences of astringency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-99
Number of pages7
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Minnesota-South Dakota Dairy Food Research Center (St. Paul, MN), the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station , the Sensory Center in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition , and by a USDA National Needs Fellowship . We thank Scott Laboratories (Petaluma, CA) for providing the tannins used in the study.

Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Acids
  • Astringency
  • Bitterness
  • Sensory analysis
  • Sourness
  • Tannins


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