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ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #203922

Title: Sensory analysis

item Plotto, Anne

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2010
Publication Date: 9/1/2011
Citation: Margaria, C., Plotto, A. 2011. Sensory analysis. In: Goodner, K., Rouseff, R., editors. Practical Analysis of Flavor and Fragrance Materials. West Sussex, United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons Ltd. p. 173-199.

Interpretive Summary: "Sensory Analysis" describes sensory evaluation techniques in the context of a book that is intended to be a working reference for recently graduated chemists or food scientists who get a job in the flavor and fragrance field. This chapter is intended to serve as an assistant for the inexperienced sensory analyst, giving practical guidance for organizing taste panels.

Technical Abstract: Sensory evaluation can answer questions about a product that instruments cannot. The human subject is the instrument, and data can provide a wealth of information for a product developer, or results can be very variable and erroneous if all the precautions to minimize bias and external noise are not taken. A trained panel can provide a complementary picture to instrumental data about a product. A consumer panel provides the response that no instrument can provide, that is whether the consumer will like a product or not, and will he/she be willing to purchase it. Common sensory techniques are reviewed in this chapter. Discrimination techniques include the triangle test, the duo-trio test, and the simple difference test. When the difference for a specific attribute needs to be known, difference from control, paired comparison and ranking tests are the methods of choice. Descriptive tests provide a detailed picture of a product, and require using trained panelists. Consumer tests are so-called “affective tests” because they provide an answer about the consumer preference and overall liking of a product. Advices are given to prepare and organize a panel.