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Sensory Science - Articles and news items

Comparison of sensory methods

Issue 3 2016  •  20 June 2016  •  Michael Bryanton, Research and Development Chef, Canada’s Smartest Kitchen, The Culinary Institute of Canada

There are a number of sensory methods to determine with statistical relevance whether or not consumers will notice a difference between a current formulation and a new one. Each sensory method has advantages and disadvantages, including the sensitivity of the method, which determines the number of judges necessary, and the number of samples necessary to perform the test…

Sensory Science supplement 2015

Issue 3 2015, Supplements  •  30 June 2015  •  New Food magazine

In this supplement: Sensory and analytical relationships in cocoa-based products; improving the sensory characteristics of whole wheat pasta; developing ASTM standards for sensory evaluation; and a preview of the 11th Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium…

Quick and simple sensory evaluation of your products

Issue 1 2012  •  6 March 2012  •  Dr. Lene Meinert, Consultant, Department of Raw Meat Quality, Danish Meat Research Institute

Imagine that you have found a new and cheaper supplier of spice mixes for one of your popular products. Imagine too that you want to change the raw material composition of the product. Indeed, there are many parameters that could be modified. But how do you get an easy and quick overview of the flavours of the different products? Ideally, you want the consumers to enjoy a pleasant eating experience, the kind of experience they appreciate and that makes them want to buy the product again and again.

The French wine industry needed to find a method of assessing the quality of a large number of barrels of wine in their wine cellars. They needed to know which wines were ready to be bottled. It was important that the method was very simple and that it could be performed down in the wine cellar. They developed the Napping® method, which quite simply involved placing the wines on a single sheet of paper according to how similar or different the wines tasted. The wines that were similar in taste were placed close to each other on the sheet of paper. The wine producer could then evaluate whether that particular group of wines was ready for bottling or whether they should be left to mature for a while longer. At DMRI, we have taken the Napping® method and adapted it to the needs of the Danish meat industry. Our method is known as Mapping by DMRI, though the principle is more or less the same.

The total product experience and the position of the sensory and consumer sciences: More than meets the tongue

Issue 1 2012  •  6 March 2012  •  Garmt Dijksterhuis, Sensation, Perception & Behaviour, Unilever R&D Vlaardingen

Traditionally, much food research focuses on the physical and chemical product characteristics, using the so called ‘hard-sciences’. The consumer science side of the product, its use, its perception and its choice rely on the psychological sciences. In the ‘harder’ sciences, a number of recent insights appear which we introduce in this article using the philosophy of the Total Product Experience.

This TPE approach is built on the following four principles:
1. Multisensory perception: products are perceived by humans using all their sensory systems, i.e. more than the proverbial five sense systems, and there are many ways the systems interact
2. Top-down effects: ideas, expectations, information, emotions, in addition to direct sensory perception affect the perception, and liking, of products
3. Consumer-product interactions: the inter – action of consumers with a food product ranges much wider than just oral ingestion
4. Unconscious influences: there is much information about food products and their sensory perception than is consciously and volitionally available to a consumer


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