Evaluation and correlation of sensory attributes and chemical compositions of emerging fresh produce: microgreens.
Microgreens are an emerging food product with scarce information pertaining to their sensory and nutritional properties. In this study, six species of microgreens, including Dijon mustard (Brassica juncea L. Czern.), opal basil (Ocimum basilicum L.), bull's blood beet (Beta vulgaris L.), red amaranth (Amaranthus tricolor L.), peppercress (Lepidium bonariense L.) and China rose radish (Raphanus sativus L.), were evaluated for their sensory attributes and chemical compositions. Results showed that bull's blood beet had the highest rating on acceptability of flavor and overall eating quality while peppercress the lowest. Chemical compositions also differed significantly among the six species. China rose radish had the highest titratable acidity and total sugars, while red amaranth had the highest pH value and lowest total sugars. Regarding the phytonutrient concentrations, the highest concentrations of total ascorbic acid, phylloquinone, carotenoids, tocopherols, and total phenolics were found in China rose radish, opal basil, red amaranth, China rose radish, and opal basil, respectively. The relationships between sensory-sensory attributes and sensory-chemical compositions were further studied. It was found that overall eating quality of microgreens was best correlated with flavor score and microgreen's pH value and total phenolic content were strongly correlated with flavor attributes, e.g., sourness, astringency, and bitterness. In general, despite the differences among individual microgreens, all of the microgreens evaluated in this study demonstrated "good" to "excellent" consumer acceptance and nutritional quality.