Sensory Quality of Portuguese Natural Mineral Waters: Correlation with Chemical Composition
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Instituto Politécnico de Beja, Campus do Instituto Politécnico de Beja, Rua Pedro Soares, 7800-295 Beja, Portugal
FibEnTech-Materiais Fibrosos e Tecnologias Ambientais, R. Marques de Avila e Bolama, 6201-001 Covilhã, Portugal
Maria de Fatima Nunes de Carvalho   

Instituto Politécnico de Beja, Campus do Instituto Politécnico de Beja, Rua Pedro Soares, 7800-295 Beja, Portugal
Publication date: 2021-05-01
Ecol. Eng. Environ. Technol. 2021; 3:129–141
Portugal is one of the richest countries in terms of variety of natural mineral waters in relation to territorial size. The aim of this work was to characterize the sensory features of eleven Portuguese natural mineral waters and correlated those with its chemical characteristics. The study of the Piper diagram concluded that the vast majority of these waters have low or very low mineralization content, with total mineralization values not more than 500 mgL-1, predominantly sodium bicarbonate or mixed sodium. The sensory analysis were carried out by 10 trained panelists according to ISO 8589: 2007 and had shown that the tasters were able to distinguish the sensory attributes of the waters, and thus being possible to stablish some correlation between the physical-chemical and sensory parameters. With Principal Component Analysis (PCA) it was possible to explain the percentage of variance between the main chemical components of the studied waters and its sensory characteristics. A significant positive correlation of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) with HCO3-(0.97), Ca2+ (0.93) and Mg2+ (0.91) had been showed, as well as the pH of the natural mineral waters with the salty (0.71) and the sweet (0.69) taste. The sweetest waters were Monchique Chic (3.4) and Monchique (3.3) and the least sweet was Luso. The most acid were Vitalis (3.4) and Luso (3.3) and the least acid ones were Monchique Chic (1.9) and Vimeiro Original (1.8). In terms of salty taste, the most salty samples were Monchique (4.2) with significant differences between all the other samples, and the least salty one was Salutis (1.8). The bitter waters were Monchique Chic (3.5) and Vimeiro Lisa (3.4) and the least one Vitalis (2.3). The water most scored in mineral flavor was Vimeiro Original (4.9) and the least one Salutis(2.7).