All you wanted to know about dominance and never dared to ask: An exploration of the concept of dominance in TDS tests

Sara King/ September 11, 2016/ Poster/ 0 comments

TDS describes the evolution of the dominant sensory attributes during consumption.

Conceptually, this methodology relies on a unique type of evaluation, different from intensity ratings or product description. The dominance can be assessed using different strategies: the sensation that captures the attention, the most striking, or the new that pops up, but not necessarily the most intense. This wide definition implies that individual assessors within a panel might assess it differently, and even the same assessor could be using different strategies for the same product. Therefore, research is still needed to understand how dominance is conceptualized, which may have an impact on how results from TDS are interpreted and performance evaluated.

This work will discuss how dominance is assessed and how the different interpretations and definitions might influence the results of a TDS test. A highly trained panel with 10 assessors completed a QDA and a TDS assessment of seven samples of wholemeal bread differing in fiber content, type of cereal and added seeds. Three very distinct samples were chosen, considering both their static and dynamic sensory profile. A qualitative exploration of the concept of dominance was performed using a modified think aloud technique. The exploration, realised in two sessions with two parts each, looked into dominant attribute selection, attribute transitions and competitive perceptions at each time slot.

The analysis and discussion of the panel feedback shed light into various aspects of dominance within a TDS test: how attributes are selected, what drives the transitions between attributes, the competitive effects of attributes and modalities, how some phenomena like dumping or dithering could happen at some stages and why. More importantly, the analysis of the results raised some fundamental questions regarding the role of oral processing and product characteristics in driving dominant perceptions at different points in a TDS evaluation.

Varela, P., Carlehög, M., Berget, I., Castura, J. C., Ares, G., & Næs, T. (2016). All you wanted to know about dominance and never dared to ask: An exploration of the concept of dominance in TDS tests. 7th European Conference on Sensory and Consumer Research. 11-14 September. Dijon, France.

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