A pilot study to compare a mushroom-soy-beef burger to an all-beef burger in school meals investigated whether recipes blending mushrooms with meat-based burgers would be an acceptable option for use in the school food program. Students in grades 2 through 8 voluntarily participated in a taste test to evaluate the palatability and acceptance of mushroom-soy-beef blend burgers.
The 37 participating students (average age 10.1 years) tasted two unlabeled burgers: a regular beef burger and a mushroom-soy-beef “blend” burger served in random order. An interviewer administered survey included measures to assess palatability and acceptability with closed and open ended questions. Mean scores for acceptability and palatability were similar for both burger types. Students indicated taste as a key driver of burger preference.
This study demonstrated a comparable palatability and acceptance of the mushroom/soy blended burger and the beef burger. The authors suggest that the study can be used to demonstrate the advantages to schools considering adding mushroom-blend burgers to their menus as a lower calorie, lower fat burger option.