The hedonic response to chocolate and beverage pairing: A preliminary study

Gianluca Donadini, Maria Daria Fumi, Milena Lambri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this study was to provide some general recommendations for selecting a befitting beverage to accompany chocolates with different cocoa contents. Eighteen beverages and three chocolates with 30%, 70%, and 99% cocoa solids were hedonically rated by eighty regular chocolate consumers. The beverages were then paired with each chocolate, and the consumers were asked to indicate hedonic liking of the chocolates, beverages, and chocolate and beverage pairs, and to indicate whether the chocolate or beverage flavour dominated the pair. The results of this study showed that liking of chocolate and beverage pairs significantly varied (p < 0.001). Consumers preferred pairs with chocolate containing 30 and 70% cocoa solids over pairs with chocolate containing 99% cocoa solids. Beverages, such as balsamic vinegar, liqueur wine, coffee, and Port wine, generally appeared to be more proper and versatile partners for chocolate. According to the factorial analysis of variance (ANOVA), the chocolate and beverage pair liking depended more on the beverage liking than the chocolate liking and the level of match. Omega squared indicated a medium effect for the beverage liking and a small effect for the chocolate liking, and the level of match. Although exploratory, this study outlined that when chocolate dominated the pair, a drop in acceptance is generally observed, whereas when the beverage dominates the chocolate a drop or a gain in acceptance can occur. Further investigations are required to complement the results with specific pieces of information on the flavour interactions that occur when chocolate and beverages are consumed according to a mixed tasting technique.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-711
Number of pages9
JournalFood Research International
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • beverage liking
  • chocolate liking
  • consumer hedonic response
  • match level


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