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Food Science and Nutrition Alumni

Brownies Fortified with Milne MicroDried Blueberries and Carrots as a Method to Increase Fruit and Vegetable Consumption

by AnneCherise Jensen, Cassandra Nikolaus and Kate Pequignot

AnneCherise Jensen, Cassandra Nikolaus and Kate Pequignot

Fruit and vegetable consumption is associated with decreased risk for multiple chronic diseases. In the United States, the average population is well below recommended intake due to several barriers. Such barriers include taste preference, cost, limited cooking abilities and limited education on the importance of healthy foods.

This study focused on addressing the taste preference and limited cooking ability barriers by utilizing brownies as a vehicle for fruit and vegetable consumption. Brownies were fortified with Milne MicroDried blueberries and carrots so that a three inch by three inch serving of brownie supplied a full serving of fruit or vegetable, respectively.

Sensory evaluation of each variation for tenderness, sweetness, moistness, and preference utilized 73 untrained Central Washington University students. Between-groups ANOVA tests showed that all brownie variations were consider similarly tender (p=0.16) and sweet (p=0.35), utilizing a 13 point scale. However, the brownies containing blueberries were significantly less moist and less preferred than the control, unfortified brownies, and carrot-containing brownies (p<0.001, for both).

There were no significant differences in moisture or preference between the control and carrot-containing brownies. The analysis shows that consumers are likely to accept brownies fortified with Milne MicroDried carrots as much as conventional brownies. Brownies can therefore provide a full serving of vegetables to consumers. Food producers can potentially use this as a method of selling their product as a healthier dessert.

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