Proserpio, C., Fia, G., Bucalossi, G., Zanoni, B., Spinelli, S., Dinnella, C., Monteleone, E., & Pagliarini, E. (2020). Winemaking byproducts as source of antioxidant components: Consumers’ acceptance and expectations of phenol-enriched plant-based food. Antioxidants, 9(8), 661.

One of the food industry’s priorities is to recover byproducts and move towards more sustainable systems. Among wine-chain byproducts, unripe grapes represent a promising source of antioxidants. However, the development of new foods enriched using phenol-rich ingredients is challenging due to their sensory attributes.

The aims of the present study were to (1) use phenol-rich extract from unripe grapes to enrich a model plant-based food (beetroot puree—BP); (2) evaluate consumers’ acceptance and expectations for the beetroot purée samples. The effect of information about the sustainability and pro-health activity of value-added ingredients on consumers’ responses was also investigated.

Four beetroot purees with increasing concentrations of phenol extract (0–1.93 g/kg) added were evaluated by 101 participants in three tasting conditions (blind: only samples; expected: only information without tasting; real: both samples and information).

Liking slightly decreased with increasing concentrations of phenol extract, even if all the samples were considered acceptable. The health and sustainability information increased the hedonic expectations, although it was not assimilated by all consumers involved.

The development of new phenol-enriched foods using functional ingredients from unripe grapes is challenging. However, it is also promising, since all the samples were generally accepted by the consumers and they presented phenol levels that were stable over time and that could have positive health effects when consumed.