Omega-3 Fatty Acid Oil Enhancement of a Protein-Based Recovery Beverage: Sensory Analysis with Athletes

  •  Jessica MacMartin    
  •  W. Buckley    
  •  David Cranage    
  •  Tim Bream    
  •  Peter Bordi    


Essential omega-3 fatty acids must be consumed through the diet to meet the body’s nutrition requirement. Daily-recommended intake of omega-3 fatty acids for adults is 270 milligrams/day. These fatty acids are commonly consumed through fish, but it is known that the United States population at large is not meeting their recommended daily intake. Supplements containing these important acids should be considered to close the gap between recommendations and actual intake. To create a product with these beneficial acids, sensory analysis was conducted to see if non-trained male and female athlete panelists could notice the difference in several key sensory characteristics (appearance, initial taste, color, sweetness, consistency, chocolate flavor, aftertaste, overall quality and overall liking) in a chocolate protein-based recovery beverage. The sensory-neutral oil was added into the beverage and athletes (n=95) were asked to taste the omega-3 and original beverage and rank each characteristic on hedonic and just-about-right scales. Color of the drink, aftertaste, overall quality and overall liking were rated significantly higher for the omega-3 added drink. Overall, the addition of the omega-3 fatty acids improved the beverage in several key attributes and can be added into the final formulation of the product. 

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