Sensory profiles of commercial coffee substitutes were determined and their possible interdependences with antioxidant characteristics (FRAP, DPPH, ABTS, and CUPRAC), total polyphenol content, and colour were investigated and compared to coffees. Statistically relevant relations were revealed between certain sensory attributes, colour, and antioxidant capacity.
Sensory attributes show distinct patterns for coffees, their blends, and substitutes, but no significant differences between substitutes from different raw materials were found, except for chicory. Although coffees have generally higher antioxidant capacities than their substitutes, these latter, especially chicory-based products, are also valuable antioxidant sources, as only half of them had significantly lower polyphenol and antioxidant contents when compared to coffee.
Principal component analysis was applied to reveal possible differentiation pattern between samples, based on both their sensory and antioxidant attributes.