BACKGROUND : The younger generation of South Africans generally do not consume traditional meals prepared using African green leafy vegetables, primarily because they are regarded as bitter, “poverty” foods. Canning of these vegetables could create value‐added products that can be sold in the commercial market. Descriptive sensory evaluation and consumer acceptance testing with young females were used to assess the potential of such products. RESULTS : The sensory attributes of amaranth, cleome and cowpea leaves canned in brine and in a cream sauce were described using 21 attributes grouped by aroma, taste, texture/mouthfeel and aftertaste. Amaranth and Swiss chard products were described as sweet with a popcorn‐like aroma. Cleome products were described as bitter, sour, pungent, chemical‐tasting, astringent, sandy with a metallic mouthfeel and strong aftertaste. Cowpea products were described as having woody and tobacco aromas as well as a chewy and cohesive texture. Among the products canned with a cream sauce, young female consumers preferred amaranth and Swiss chard; cowpea was less liked, while cleome was least liked.
CONCLUSIONS : Canned amaranth leaves have potential as a commercial product that may be well liked by young consumers. The cowpea leaves product has consumer potential, but the formulation needs revision, while canned cleome leaves need further research work.