Sensory testing is a vital component of product development for many leading brands. It allows manufacturers to assess how a product will be perceived by consumers and make necessary adjustments before it hits the market. Sensory testing can provide invaluable insights into consumer preferences and help ensure that products meet or exceed customer expectations.
You can perform many types of sensory tests, and the methodology you choose will depend on the specific product, and what aspects of sensory perception are being evaluated.
What is Sensory Testing?
Simply put, sensory testing evaluates food based on its sensory properties – such as taste, smell, texture, appearance, and flavour.
A sensory test usually involves a trained panel of tasters who will score the product on different attributes. The results of these sensory tests can then be used to improve the recipe or manufacturing process, ensuring that the final product is of the highest quality.
How is Sensory Testing Used By Leading Food and Beverage Manufacturers?
Sensory testing can be an essential tool for manufacturers as it allows them to:
- Assess how consumers will perceive a product
- Make necessary adjustments before it hits the market
- Ensure that products meet or exceed customer expectations
- Gain insights into competitor products
- Understand the impact sensory perceptions can have on a specific product
By undertaking sensory testing, manufacturers can be sure that their products are of the highest quality, will secure customer acceptance, and have a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
What Are The Different Types of Sensory Tests?
Many different types of sensory tests can be performed, depending on the product and what aspects of sensory perception need to be evaluated. Some standard sensory tests include:
- Paired comparison test: This test compares two products side-by-side and identifies which one has more of a specific sensory attribute.
- Triangle test: This test is used to compare three products, two of which are identical and one which is different. The subjects are then asked to identify the odd-one-out.
- Duo-trio test: This test is used to identify differences between products and investigates which sensory attributes are driving those differences. Often administered immediately after the triangle test.
Sensory tests such as these will be carried out by a panel of trained assessors, who use their acute senses to identify any sensory differences between products.
What Are The Benefits of Sensory Testing?
Subjecting your product(s) to numerous rounds of sensory testing is beneficial for several reasons, including:
- You will be able to identify potential sensory issues before the product hits the market, saving you time and money in the long run.
- Sensory testing can provide insights into how your product will be perceived by consumers and what sensory attributes are most important to them.
- You can use sensory testing to benchmark your product against competitors and ensure that it is of the highest quality.
- Sensory testing can be used to improve the recipe or manufacturing process, ensuring that the final product is of the highest quality.
Contact Wirral Sensory Services Today for All of Your Sensory Testing Needs
As one of the UK’s leading sensory research companies, Wirral Sensory Services can help you with all of your sensory testing needs. We have a vast pool of highly trained and experienced sensory panellists who can perform various sensory tests, providing you with the insights you need to improve your product.
From testing recipe reformulations to stacking your new product up against the competition, we can help. Contact us today to learn more about our sensory testing services or to discuss your specific needs.