Temporal methods: A comparative study of four different techniques
Temporal methods have become an increasingly important tool for understanding changes that occur over an eating experience. Single attribute time intensity (SATI) focuses on one attribute, recording perceptual changes continuously in evaluation. SATI has several limitations that have led to methodological innovations. In this study a well-trained sensory panel evaluated the same set of snack bar samples using four different methods: dual-attribute time intensity (DATI), temporal order of sensations (TOS), temporal dominance of sensations (TDS), and sequential profiling (SP). Results permit comparison and contrast, and inform future method selection for addressing the business question. Four commercials snack bars having a range of sensory properties were evaluated. Triplicate evaluations were performed by 15 trained sensory descriptive panelists under identical conditions. A set of five important sensory attributes (Grain, Caramelized, Dried Fruit, Nutty and Sweet) were used as the basis for all TOS, TDS and SP assessments. Two complex attributes (Overall Flavour and Breakdown) were used in DATI assessments. Results from DATI indicated that the product with the fastest breakdown also had the highest overall flavor. Breakdown was not well captured in data from other methods, and its evaluation provided context for understanding other data with respect to breakdown and post-breakdown stages. SP data show the intensities of the attributes under evaluation at each timepoint, and their changes over time. Overall flavour in DATI coincided more closely with the highest individual attribute intensity level in SP than in the sum of the attribute intensities. TDS data are quite different from the SP data. In one product, TDS revealed the escalating dominance of Grain Flavour during evaluation. In another product, Caramelized Flavour commanded the attention of the panel for the full duration of the evaluation, obscuring the contribution of other attributes to the eating experience. The TOS task involves selection of multiple attributes at each timepoints, and systematically elicits secondary attributes from panelists. TOS results for this product identify Caramelized Flavour and Sweetness as the attributes with the highest weight, which is more consistent with
SP results. Each method provided useful temporal information for product development. The choice of method must align with the outcome that is required to provide suitable product development guidance.
Findlay, C. J., Castura, J. C., & Valeriote, E. (2014). Temporal methods: A comparative study of four different techniques. In: 17th IUFoST Congress. 17-21 August. Montréal, Québec, Canada.