Setting up a Sensory Project
When planning a sensory project, it is very important to understand the objectives of the project as they are key factors in determining the test type, the experimental design and statistical analysis required to meet these objectives. The product type and financial resources available are also to be considered in any test design.
The scope of the sensory testing project will determine the size and type of facility required and its location. Most facilities have several functional areas, but the most basic laboratory where conditions are fully controlled and experimental design carefully designed can generate robust and accurate data.
The aim of this course is to provide sensory professionals with an insight of the important considerations when setting up a sensory project. It also describes the different types of experimental designs and the basics of statistics applied to sensory analysis.
Sensory Training Foundation Course
Sensory evaluation is often described using the definition of the Institute of Technology - a scientific method to evoke, measure, analyse and interpret those responses to products as perceived through the senses of sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing.
Evaluating the sensory characteristics of a product is a powerful tool which can be called upon to inform decision-making during all stages of a product life cycle. It can be used for quality control, to determine shelf life, to gauge whether a new product is worth launching onto the market, to identify the sensory attributes driving consumer preferences or to check if the product is affected by storage or packaging. Sensory and consumer testing can also provide insights into human behaviour and perception at a more fundamental level.
Panel Leader Training Course
The panel leader is a key element for the success of a sensory project. Indeed, the panel leader is responsible for the selection, training, and management of the sensory panel, and for the evaluation and reporting of the data generated.
Becoming an effective panel manager and getting the best out of the panellists require a set of skills and personality traits ranging from leadership to ability to communicate with panellists and analytical thinking. Panel leaders must also ensure that good health, safety, ethical and legal practices are adopted when conducting sensory panels.
Descriptive Profile Methods Training Course
Descriptive Profile methods are objective sensory approaches aiming at characterising the sensory properties of a product. Descriptive methods are complex to conduct and interpret, but they can generate a precise sensory description of a product as well as a description and quantification of the differences among a set of products.
Descriptive methods require a small number of highly trained assessors who have been screened for their ability to discriminate between similar samples, rate product for intensity and identify tastes and aromas. The selection and training of the panel members is crucial to the quality of the data obtained.
The aim of this course is to provide sensory professionals with an insight of the fundamental principles of descriptive sensory methods.
Cooking Validation Training Course
The validation of the on-pack cooking instructions is the safety control step for raw products which do not have another earlier step to sufficiently control the microbial pathogen risk. Cooking validations are carried out to provide consumers with the correct cooking instructions, information and re-heating guidelines for ready meals and food products which are safe and of the best possible quality when consumed.
Appropriate and documented validated cooking instructions are paramount for food safety, organoleptic quality and brand reputation.
This course details the difference between cooking instructions generation (initial cooking validation) and routine cooking instructions validation, with different requirements linked to the product type and the industry expectations.
It also covers the different key steps of the validation required to take the correct decision with regards to the product Food Safety, e.g. product temperature versus microbial inactivation studies.