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Food Science and Nutrition Alumni

Investigation of Pumpkin Puree as a Fat Substitute in Spice Muffins

by Hayley Erickson, Ashley Anderson, and Kaitlin O’Brien

This investigation determined the overall acceptability, sensory characteristics, and nutrient content of spice cake prepared using pumpkin puree as a replacement for canola oil. Pumpkin puree was used to reduce the fat of the spice cake by 28% in the half pumpkin variation, and 66% in the full pumpkin variation.

Fifty untrained panelists participated in rating the cakes on tenderness and overall preference. Tenderness intensity and overall preference were rated on a nine-point hedonic scale. Twenty-one of the panelists attempted to distinguish the difference between the control spice cake and the 28% less fat variation by performing a duo-trio test.

All three sensory test results concluded no significant difference exists between all three varieties of cake. Objective testing shows slight differences in volume and penetration force. This experiment demonstrates that pumpkin puree can replace fat in spice cake while providing a more nutritious product.

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