Sensory Profiling, Assessing Tastes & Smells - Wirral Sensory Services

Sensory Profiling


Sensory Profiling uses trained panellists to assess products against their key parameters. This research takes the ‘liking’ out of the analysis, focusing instead on assessing products through objective measurements of each key parameter.

Our trained panellists are selected from a pool of respondents who have higher than average sensory acuity, and greater ability to identify different tastes and smells.

Specific benefits of this type of research include:

* Sensory differences between your products and those of your competitors can be shown clearly through the product profiles

* The effect of a change in ingredient levels can be monitored through the changes in the profile of the product

* Differences between batches of products can be assessed to monitor quality control

* When combined with central location testing, we can indentify key drivers for consumer acceptance allowing us to create a ‘Gold Standard’ product

WSS has ongoing relationships with several clients involving long term sensory profiling. Our panel of trained respondents is dedicated to this type of project and is used over a period of time to profile NPD samples and competitor products. This provides a full and comprehensive overview of product changes and allows our clients to develop the best possible tasting products, therefore maximising sales.



Case Study:

The request

A leading producer of spicy chicken products wanted to assess whether there were any discernible differences in dried spices sourced from two different origins.

The methodology

A sensory profiling exercise was conducted using a panel of 14 trained assessors. An initial descriptor generating session identified 28 parameters that the assessors would use to measure attributes of spicy chicken products. They then assessed spicy chicken products with the spices from each origin. All measurements were performed in duplicate.

The results

A report was generated to show the mean assessor scores for each attribute, for the spicy chicken products made with spices from each origin. Significant differences were highlighted at 95% confidence to clearly identify where the products differed in sensory terms.

The action

Based on the feedback from the research, we were able to demonstrate to our client discernible differences in their products when using spices from two different origins. The client was then able to assess the level of difference and make an informed decision for the sourcing of spices.

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Wirral Sensory Services - Making sense of research