The sensory interactions of organic acids and various flavors in ramen soup systems

J Food Sci. 2007 Nov;72(9):S639-47. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2007.00526.x.


This study was conducted to investigate the sensory interactions between various organic acids and flavorants in 3 types of ramen soup ('beef,' seafood, and 'kimchi') when types and levels of organic acids (citric, malic, and lactic) varied. For 'beef' and seafood ramen soup, weak suprathreshold levels of acids (0.0039% to 0.0071%) were applied to the system and medium suprathreshold of acids (0.0128% to 0.0299%) were applied to the kimchi ramen soup. The amount of acid applied to each system was chosen based on the equiweight level. Descriptive analyses were performed separately for each ramen soup system using 8 trained panelists. A total of 11, 13, and 12 flavor descriptors were generated for 'beef,' seafood, and 'kimchi' soup, respectively. Analysis of variance was conducted to evaluate the effect of organic acid on the sensory characteristics of ramen soup. Principal component analysis was conducted to summarize the relationship between the soup samples and attributes. The effect of organic acids on the flavor attributes of ramen soup was dependent on the soup system as well as adding levels of acid. Addition of lactic acid power (at 0.0066%) in 'beef'ramen soup showed enhancement effect on the sour, salty, beefy, 'mushroom' flavor, and fermented soybean paste soup flavor, whereas lactic acid powder (at 0.0071%) showed enhancement effect only on the sour and fermented soybean paste soup flavor in seafood ramen soup due to the strong 'hot' flavor characteristics of the soup. In kimchi ramen soup, flavor attributes congruent to sourness were enhanced by the addition of organic acids to the system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Carboxylic Acids* / pharmacology
  • Cattle
  • Citric Acid / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Flavoring Agents* / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Lactic Acid / pharmacology
  • Malates / pharmacology
  • Meat
  • Odorants
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Seafood
  • Smell / drug effects
  • Smell / physiology
  • Soy Foods
  • Students
  • Taste / drug effects
  • Taste / physiology*


  • Carboxylic Acids
  • Flavoring Agents
  • Malates
  • Citric Acid
  • Lactic Acid
  • malic acid