Study examines how starch type affects consumer preference for mazamorra morada

By Stephen Daniells contact

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Mazamorra morada is a Peruvian dessert. Image © Getty Images / Juan Jose Napuri
Mazamorra morada is a Peruvian dessert. Image © Getty Images / Juan Jose Napuri
Making the Peruvian dessert mazamorra morada using only potato starch led to the most desirable sensory attributes, says a new study that is said to be first to assess the sensory characteristics of the dessert.

A mixture containing equal amounts of potato, sweet potato and corn starches also produced favorable characteristics, according to data published in the International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science​.

“Food systems containing more than one starch in their composition have interaction between their components, which can affect the structure of the system, influencing finally the sensory properties of foods,”​ explained scientists from Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil), Universidad Nacional de Trujillo (Peru), Universidade Federal de São Carlos (Brazil), and the Catholic University Sedes Sapientiae (Peru).

“For product development, food companies need information on how consumers perceive the products and how these products are appreciated,” ​they added.

The product

Mazamorra morada is a Peruvian dessert made from purple corn, potato and corn starches, cinnamon, clove, raisins, and prunes. Pineapple and peach are also often included, explained the study’s authors.

Starch is a key ingredient in mazamorra morada, and the main types used include potato, sweet potato or corn starches.

“However, no research currently exists on the influence of content and type of starch on overall liking and sensory characteristics of mazamorra morada,” ​explained the authors.

Study details

Potato starch © Getty Images Goldfinch4ever
"Based on the results of this study, we recommend the use of only potato starch or the use of the 3 starches in the same proportion in further formulations of mazamorra morada," wrote the study authors. Image © Getty Images / Goldfinch4ever

The researchers formulated ten samples using different combinations of potato, sweet potato, and corn starches, and then 130 habitual mazamorra morada consumers assessed the sensory characteristics using the check-all-that-apply (CATA) question system.

The results showed that the best results were obtained for mazamorra morada formulated with only potato starch or with equal proportions of potato, corn and sweet potato starches. The overall liking score was slightly higher for the combination product, said the researchers.

“These samples presented sensory characteristics close to the ideal mazamorra morada (gelatinous, thick, fruit, sweet, bright, homogenous, cinnamon, slight bitter, and purple), and had more than 6 points of overall liking on a nine-point hedonic scale,” ​they wrote.

“CATA questions coupled with ideal profile proved to be a useful methodology to develop mazamorra morada accepted by consumers.”

Source: International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.ijgfs.2018.01.002
“How does starch affect the sensory characteristics of mazamorra morada? A study with a dessert widely consumed by Peruvians”
Authors: E. Saldaña

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