Panel entrenado catas

Identification, description and quantification of the products’ sensory characteristics

It is necessary to establish the description and objective quantification of the product’s sensory characteristics, prototypes and of the competing products at different points in the product life cycle. This is especially important in the product development and optimisation phases, in order to identify similarities and differences at the sensory level and to implement the necessary actions. When reformulating, optimising the product or introducing a functional ingredient, we need to know the sensory impact on the product in order to validate the new formulations and processes. Another area of application of this service line is establishing sensory shelf life to monitor the loss of quality based on the sensory evaluation of critical attributes in product deterioration. The sensory profiles and sensory maps obtained provide key information to understanding product changes, category and strategic positioning in the market.

At AINIA we give you value

  • We have a trained multi-product panel of 10-12 tasters with more than 2,000 hours of sensory description experience in a wide variety of product categories such as soft drinks, canned fish, ready meals, olives, gazpacho, loaf bread, pizza dough, meats, raw and cured sausages, dairy products, sugar, sauces…
  • Speed, precision and flexibility in carrying out descriptive sensory studies thanks to our multi-product training panel, whose only requirement is additional training specific to the category to be evaluated
  • Our multidisciplinary team includes Sensory Analysis experts and Food Technologists to provide appropriate interpretation of sensory profiles and maps. This gives the company key operational information for decision making in the product development and improvement process
  • Depending on the objectives and the context, we apply different methodologies, both classical, Quantitative Descriptive Analysis (QDA) and the most recent rapid methodologies (Napping, Flash profile…)
  • We obtain accurate results thanks to our over 30 years of experience, experimental design and statistical analysis, as well as our control and standardisation of all the variables (sample preparation, reference design, training in the use of the scale, etc.)

Sensory studies. Sensory profiles

  • Sensory profiles and sensory maps are valuable outputs for understanding the product category and monitoring the product’s sensory positioning in the market
  • Identify, describe and quantify the sensory characteristics of the product through sensory profiling and/or sensory mapping. This provides key information to understanding changes in a product, the product category and monitoring its positioning in the market
  • Depending on the specific objective and context, we apply different descriptive methodologies that require varying degrees of panel training and qualification.
  • We define product optimisation pathways in combination with consumer preference data (Preference Mapping)

Sensory studies. Preference Map

When developing the Preference Map, we take the same set of products, prototypes and competing products and combine the data from the products’ objective sensory characterisations with the hedonic ratings of the consumers. This enables us to identify which products the consumers like and why. The consumer segmentation according to tastes defines the preference drivers of each consumer group and the means of product optimisation.

How can I help you?

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Mª José Sánchez
Director of AINIA Consumer

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