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Water Res. 2016 May 1;94:42-51. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2016.02.043. Epub 2016 Feb 19.

Sensory quality of drinking water produced by reverse osmosis membrane filtration followed by remineralisation.

Author information

1
Consumer Science and Health, Food & Biobased Research, Wageningen UR. P.O. Box 17, 6700AA Wageningen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: Monique.Vingerhoeds@wur.nl.
2
Consumer Science and Health, Food & Biobased Research, Wageningen UR. P.O. Box 17, 6700AA Wageningen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: Mariska.Nijenhuis@wur.nl.
3
Oasen Drinking Water N.V., P.O. Box 122, 2800 AC Gouda, The Netherlands. Electronic address: Nienke.Ruepert@oasen.nl.
4
Oasen Drinking Water N.V., P.O. Box 122, 2800 AC Gouda, The Netherlands. Electronic address: Harmen.van.der.Laan@oasen.nl.
5
Section for Sensory and Consumer Science, Department of Food Science, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 26, 1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark. Electronic address: wb@food.ku.dk.
6
Consumer Science and Health, Food & Biobased Research, Wageningen UR. P.O. Box 17, 6700AA Wageningen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: Stefanie.Kremer@wur.nl.

Abstract

Membrane filtration of ground, surface, or sea water by reverse osmosis results in permeate, which is almost free from minerals. Minerals may be added afterwards, not only to comply with (legal) standards and to enhance chemical stability, but also to improve the taste of drinking water made from permeate. Both the nature and the concentrations of added minerals affect the taste of the water and in turn its acceptance by consumers. The aim of this study was to examine differences in taste between various remineralised drinking waters. Samples selected varied in mineral composition, i.e. tap water, permeate, and permeate with added minerals (40 or 120 mg Ca/L, added as CaCO3, and 4 or 24 mg Mg/L added as MgCl2), as well as commercially available bottled drinking waters, to span a relevant product space in which the remineralised samples could be compared. All samples were analysed with respect to their physical-chemical properties. Sensory profiling was done by descriptive analysis using a trained panel. Significant attributes included taste intensity, the tastes bitter, sweet, salt, metal, fresh and dry mouthfeel, bitter and metal aftertaste, and rough afterfeel. Total dissolved solids (TDS) was a major determinant of the taste perception of water. In general, lowering mineral content in drinking water in the range examined (from <5 to 440 mg/L) shifted the sensory perception of water from fresh towards bitter, dry, and rough sensations. In addition, perceived freshness of the waters correlated positively with calcium concentration. The greatest fresh taste was found for water with a TDS between 190 and 350 mg/L. Remineralisation of water after reverse osmosis can improve drinking quality significantly.

KEYWORDS:

Drinking water; Mineral composition; Post-treatment RO permeate; Remineralisation; Sensory analysis; Taste perception

PMID:
26925543
DOI:
10.1016/j.watres.2016.02.043
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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