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Sensory & consumer testing

Sensory testing

Evaluating the sensory characteristics of a product is a powerful tool which can be called upon to inform decision-making during all stages of a product life cycle (quality control, shelf life, storage and packaging conditions, benchmarking, consumer preferences).

Effective sensory testing is driven by setting clear objectives, developing robust experimental strategy and design, applying appropriate statistical techniques, complying with good ethical practices, and delivering mindful data to support decision-making process.

Food & beverage

Sensory experts

With a network of Sensory facilities, ALS can provide the expertise and resources to meet your product testing and development needs. In addition to the Sensory & Consumer testing services, ALS is able to offer training courses, including:

  • Sensory Evaluation - Foundation level
  • Setting Up a Sensory Project
  • Panel Leader
  • Descriptive Profile Methods
  • Consumer Tests
sensory testing, consumer testing

Sensory Evaluation Techniques

Sensory evaluation can be divided in two categories of testing: objective and subjective. In objective testing, a selected or trained panel assesses the sensory attributes of a product, where subjective testing measures the consumers' overall preference or acceptance of a product. Tests include:

Descriptive testing

Used to determine whether two or more samples are perceived as different.

Discrimination testing

Identifies and describes the nature of the difference or the magnitude of difference between two or more samples.

Benchmarking testing

Compares test sample to a well-liked product. Benchmarking new products alongside the current market players provides information on how well new product should be accepted once placed on the market. It mainly involves consumer testing carried out with a high number of untrained panelists. In addition to consumer testing, descriptive analysis of the new product versus a well-liked competitor product provides useful information on which product attributes that are key drivers of consumers' acceptance.

Consumer Testing

Can be used to determine whether a product will be accepted by consumers or is preferred compared to another. It provides information on the overall acceptability of a product. It is carried out by a high number of untrained consumers to represent the population.

Sensory projects on Food and Consumer Products

For example, if the objective of the project is to determine how well a product is liked by consumers, then an acceptance test is the correct choice.

Related topics & resources:

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Our product testing capabilities

Our technical services link seamlessly with the testing capabilities offered by ALS.

webinar, virtual training

Webinars and training sessions

Webinars and training courses are regularly held on Sensory and Consumer testing, as well as Cooking Validations.