Energy drink study evaluates ingredients

by Jeff Gelski
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URBANA, ILL. — A study appearing on-line July 21 in the Journal of Food Science investigated how the functional ingredients caffeine, ginseng and taurine may affect the sensory and rheological properties of a non-carbonated model energy drink solution. The study involved researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a 13-member descriptive analysis panel.

The study used 27 total different beverage solutions by adding each functional ingredient at levels of low, medium and high. In general, high levels of caffeine resulted in low ratings of fruity attributes and high ratings of bitter tea and fruit bitter attributes. The high level of ginseng was characterized by high ratings of bitter attributes. With increased levels of ginseng, the sweet artificial lemon-lime, pear, mango and pineapple attributes were rated lower in intensity. Taurine levels of up to 416 mg per 100 ml had no significant effects on the sensory attribute ratings of the solutions.

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