2007 Volume 23 Issue 7 Pages 809-814
Twenty Thai commercial fish sauces were characterized by sensory descriptive analysis and near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy. The main objectives were i) to investigate the relationships between sensory attributes and NIR spectra of samples and ii) to characterize the sensory characteristics of fish sauces based on NIR data. A generic descriptive analysis with 12 trained panels was used to characterize the sensory attributes. These attributes consisted of 15 descriptors: brown color, 5 aromatics (sweet, caramelized, fermented, fishy, and musty), 4 tastes (sweet, salty, bitter, and umami), 3 aftertastes (sweet, salty and bitter) and 2 flavors (caramelized and fishy). The results showed that Thai fish sauce samples exhibited significant differences in all of sensory attribute values (p < 0.05). NIR transflectance spectra were obtained from 1100 to 2500 nm. Prior to investigation of the relationships between sensory attributes and NIR spectra, principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to reduce the dimensionality of the spectral data from 622 wavelengths to two uncorrelated components (NIR1 and NIR2) which explained 92 and 7% of the total variation, respectively. NIR1 was highly correlated with the wavelength regions of 1100 - 1544, 1774 - 2062, 2092 - 2308, and 2358 - 2440 nm, while NIR2 was highly correlated with the wavelength regions of 1742 - 1764, 2066 - 2088, and 2312 - 2354 nm. Subsequently, the relationships among these two components and all sensory attributes were also investigated by PCA. The results showed that the first three principal components (PCs) named as fishy flavor component (PC1), sweet component (PC2) and bitterness component (PC3), respectively, explained a total of 66.86% of the variation. NIR1 was mainly correlated to the sensory attributes of fishy aromatic, fishy flavor and sweet aftertaste on PC1. In addition, the PCA using only the factor loadings of NIR1 and NIR2 could be used to classify samples into three groups which showed high, medium and low degrees of fishy aromatic, fishy flavor and sweet aftertaste.