Characteristics and acceptability of mint flavored coffee syrup
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Coffee is among the world's most consumed beverages. Roasted beans, coffee powder, and instant coffee are the most popular coffee products. Coffee syrups, however, are among the new emerging coffee products due to a growing demand for more ready-to-drink coffee alternatives. In order to create more consumer-attractive goods, the sensory and nutritional profile of coffee syrup can be further enhanced. Peppermint oil is a potential flavorant of coffee syrups due to its abundance in menthol that gives cooling properties and recognizably minty scent. The objectives of the study were (1) to determine the effect of peppermint on the acceptability of coffee beverage made using a coffee syrup flavored with peppermint oil; (2) to determine the physiochemical properties of peppermint flavored coffee syrups. Six (6) peppermint flavored coffee syrup formulations were used to prepare coffee and then compared for sensory properties. Plain coffee syrup was considered as the control. Thirty (30) untrained panelists conducted acceptance tests on coffee from seven formulations. Two formulations were selected for further analysis based on the results obtained from the acceptance tests. Standard methods were used to measure proximate parameters, pH, total soluble solids and Total Antioxidant Activity. The results of sensory analysis showed that formulation 2 (coffee extract: sugar (1:2) 2 drop mint) was the most accepted in overall acceptability while formulation 7 (plain coffee) was the least accepted in overall acceptability and in most of the sensory attributes. Results of chemical analysis revealed that formulation 1 (coffee extract: sugar (1:2) 1 drop mint) had a pH of 5.45 while formulation 2 (coffee extract: sugar (1:2) 2 drop mint) had a pH of 5.51. Regarding total soluble solids, formulation 1 (coffee extract: sugar (1:2) 1 drop mint) had a higher brix (66.3) than formulation 2 brix (66.0). Formulation 2 recorded total antioxidant value 181.5 mgGAE/g while formulation 1 had total antioxidant value of 175.5 mgGAE/g. This study provides evidence that flavoring coffee syrup with peppermint oil produces coffee with improved sensory and physicochemical properties without compromising health-promoting compounds.