1. K-State home
  2. »Research and Extension
  3. »Kansas Value Added Foods Lab
  4. »Technical Assistance
  5. »Sensory Analysis

Kansas Value Added Foods Lab

Sensory Analysis

sensory analysisSensory evaluation is a tool that measures product differences, perceived characteristics of products, and the acceptability of what is produced. The principles and methods have broad application for foods and beverages. The common element in each is the use of humans as evaluators. There are two broad categories of tests, affective and analytical. Affective tasks involve acceptability and preference judgments and are done by larger numbers of people representative of the population. Analytical sensory tests are the counterpart to analytical physical (instrumental) and chemical tests. They are used to measure differences and similarities among products and indicate the type and amount of the differences. The choice of technique depends upon the test objective.

Besides evaluating products for flavor, texture, color, etc., getting consumer opinions can help develop a product the consumer will like. This is done using focus groups. They help in idea generation, concept definitions, and product design. Generally, new products are either modifications or replacements of existing products or direct competitors to current products. A few are totally new products with no existing benchmarks from which to judge. Consumers can provide guidance for continued product development.

The K-State Sensory Analysis Center offers assistance in consumer product testing.