Investigation of the effect of aroma on the taste characteristics of three bitter chocolates, formulated from different cacao bean varieties (harvested from Ghana, Venezuela, and Ecuador). Sensory evaluations were given scores by 95 panelists wearing or not wearing nose clips. A questionnaire survey was also carried out. Twenty-six panelists showed changed preferences for chocolate in sensory tests while wearing a nose clip using the TDS (Temporal Dominance of Sensations) method. The scoring results showed the sensation of taste to be more sensitive when not wearing a nose clip than when wearing one, and that greater taste intensity was experienced without a nose clip. The TDS method revealed the key aroma characteristics: the Ghanaian chocolate had a “sweet nut” and “honey” taste, the Venezuelan variety had a “roasted nuts” flavor, and the Ecuadorian variety had as “floral” and “fruity” taste.
The questionnaire survey showed the most important item to be “Taste” (80.0％), followed by “Aroma”. The fact that 49.5％ of subjects showed different preferences for chocolate types while wearing the nose clip demonstrates that the aroma of chocolates affects taste preference. Aroma is therefore an important characteristic in the sensory evaluation of chocolate.