Applying enhanced descriptive sensory analysis training: A case study
The cost and time required for training descriptive analysis panels is often cited as a major barrier to the routine application of descriptive sensory analysis. Compusense FCM® was developed as a method to accelerate the training of descriptive panels and to provide a mechanism for calibration that would stabilize descriptive analysis data over time and across panels. By providing individuals with immediate and accurate feedback during training sessions, these panels have been shown to require fewer sessions to achieve accuracy and precision comparable to well-trained conventional panels (Findlay et al., 2006; Findlay et al., 2007). Previously published research on the feedback calibration method (FCM) was designed to test specific hypotheses on the performance of panels as a whole. This case study addresses the effect of the routine application of FCM on panelists who are members of ongoing descriptive panels. Three different product panels were used to measure panelist performance before and after the application of FCM. Individual panelist performance was examined over a period of three years using PanelCheck as a statistical tool (Tomic et al., 2007) and qualitatively through interviews with panel trainers and individual panelists. This research concludes that feedback calibration can be implemented efficiently by panel leaders, is preferred by panelists and significantly reduces panelist training time while maintaining or improving individual proficiency. The method also provides an effective method to integrate new panelists into existing panels and to retrain panels that have suffered from protracted breaks between testing sessions.
Findlay, C. J., Phipps, K., Pitts, S., Fortune, S., Moore, L., & Castura, J. C. (2007). Applying enhanced descriptive sensory analysis training: A case study. 7th Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium. 12-16 August. Minneapolis, MN, USA.