What Is Sensory Evaluation?

by Michelle McKinley; Updated September 26, 2017
Even ice cream companies use sensory evaluation to test products.

A sensory analyst, or sensory evaluator, oversees the testing of consumer products. Many consumer goods companies have entire departments that are dedicated to sensory evaluation, also known as sensory analysis.

Sensory Evaluation

Sensory evaluation, or sensory analysis, is the process of evaluating consumer products using the five senses. Consumer panels are organized to test a particular product before it hits store shelves, using sensory analysis. Results of these tests can determine whether or not a product will ever reach consumers.

Application and Uses

Many food and drink companies use sensory evaluation to test their products. Companies ask consumer panels to test products, and analysts record their responses. Some panels are chosen based on certain criteria, while others are picked at random. A random sampling can often provide a better gauge of the general public. Analysts then use the insight provided by panel responses to help make predictions. Consumer evaluation can help determine how successful, or unsuccessful, a product will be. It is a way to get feedback on a product before the company releases it to the public.

Types

There are three types of sensory evaluation. Effective testing deals with the objective facts about the product in question. Affective testing focuses on subjective facts, like personal preferences. Perception is the third type of sensory evaluation. It focuses on psychological and biochemical elements of sensation.

About the Author

Michelle McKinley has been writing professionally since 2008. She has been published in online publications such as The Graphic and on various Web sites, including Rate It Los Angeles and Rate It New York. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and communications from Pepperdine University.

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