Excess sweetness in products discourages customers, study finds

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A Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) published study in the scientific journal food found that products deemed “too sweet” often disappoint consumers.

The study was conducted by Kim Asseo, a student at HU’s Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science and Nutrition at the Robert H. Smith School of Agriculture, Food and Environment, and supervised by HU taste expert Professor Masha Lv.

After analyzing approximately 560,000 reviews of 31,000 food products available on Amazon and iHerb, they found that 10% of reviews referred to the sweetness of the products.

And reviewers tended to give lower ratings to products they deemed too sweet.

“Despite popular opinion, not everyone agrees that sweeter means tastier,” Niv said.

Customers who complained that the products were too sweet gave them one star less (out of five) than those who weren’t bothered by the sweetness.

Niv explained that the opinions considered for the study did not include those of “serial complainers”.

The study also found that the main culprit for overconsumption is the artificial sweetener Sucralose.

Asseo said the results of the study are important “not only for public health reasons, but also for the food companies themselves, so that they can brag about having a healthier range of products and sell these healthier products to customers who actually find them tastier”.

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