Influence of saliva on the sensory properties of US commercial smoke affected wines: Preliminary findings

Food Sci Nutr. 2024 Jan 12;12(4):2736-2746. doi: 10.1002/fsn3.3954. eCollection 2024 Apr.


Previous research has suggested that the impact of smoke affected wines require human evaluation due to in-mouth changes in perception, perhaps associated with saliva. Smoke affected wines (n = 36) from three major wine growing regions in the US were sourced from commercial wineries. A subset of these wines (n = 7) were evaluated by a consumer panel (n = 57) and electronic tongue (e-tongue) to determine the influence of saliva in the sensory profile. Consumers assessed the wines for aroma and other sensory attributes, before and after individual saliva addition. Pooled saliva from consumers was used to treat all wines obtained (n = 36) and then analyzed using the e-tongue. Results showed that saliva did not significantly alter the overall aroma, other than fruity or woody aroma liking by consumers (p > .05). However, the presence of saliva significantly lowered overall liking in both red and white wines that were affected by smoke (p ≤ .05). Consumers rated the subset of smoke affected wines below the "might purchase" category, indicating these wines were not considered acceptable by consumers. When individual pairs of smoke affected wines (before and after saliva additions) were assessed using the e-tongue, the device was able to differentiate the pairs, validating potential usefulness to discern wine changes, though the discrimination indices were moderate to low (68.8% to 11.9%). Based on these data, in human ratings of the aroma and appearance of smoked affected wines, saliva decreased overall liking, and this was somewhat distinguishable by e-tongue analysis.

Keywords: e‐tongue; fire; saliva; smoke exposure; smoke taint.