The Brazilians’ sensorial perceptions for novel food – cookies with insect protein
The efforts for entomophagy and the consumption of food products containing insect protein to become mainstream need to overcome a number of consumer barriers in western countries. A low willingness to purchase a novel food product containing alternative protein sources, particularly insects, requires a clear understanding of a product’s attributes to improve its acceptance. A sensory analysis of a cookie made with mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) flour was carried out. A mixed methods approach was used to collect and analyse data from a group of 25 panellists who participated in a taste testing session at the sensory laboratory in Brazil. Gender did not appear to determine the product’s preference regarding the sensory descriptors colour, smell, texture and taste. Yet, taste attracted the most positive attitude towards the cookie and also generated the most customer willingness to try. This was followed by texture (crunchiness). Familiarity with existing products on the market seemed also to be relevant for potential consumers. The participants generally demonstrated a willingness to eat a novel food such as an insect-based cookie when it reaches the market.