Chocolates enriched with seaweed: Sensory profiling and consumer segmentation

Abigail Salgado, Bruno Moreira-Leite, Anabela Afonso, Paulo Infante, Paulina Mata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The idea of using macroalgae as a sustainable functional food is not new, however studies in the context of phycogastronomy are scarce. The aim of the current study was to develop three different types of chocolate enriched with marine macroalgae (seaweeds) and, through binary logistic regression models, outline their sensory profile (104–139 volunteers per sample), identify the profile of possible buyers and the sensory drivers of liking. The sensory characterization performed for each sample highlighted several attributes imparted by the added seaweeds, as the salty taste derived from kombu and the astringent stimuli and dehydrated fruits flavour note derived from nori. Moreover, together with the marine/ocean smell and vegetable flavour notes, results show there is a direct link between dried Portuguese sea lettuce and a distinctive green tea/matcha flavour. Significant differences were found among the purchase intent, flavour, and overall liking scores for each sample: milk chocolate with kombu and ruby chocolate with nori achieved a higher degree of acceptability by Portuguese consumers than white chocolate with sea lettuce. Along with the sensory drivers of liking uncovered, the preformed a priori and a posteriori consumer segmentation provided useful information for a better understanding of the associations between sensory perception, hedonic appraisal, chocolate consuming patterns and purchase intent of these innovative products. Results show that some macroalgae have the potential to be used in sweet formulations (chocolate) and this appears to be a good strategy to introduce macroalgae into Portuguese markets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100747
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • Binary logistic regression
  • Consumer research
  • Product research
  • Seaweed supplementation
  • Segmentation
  • Sensory perceptions


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