Sensory analysis is a scientific discipline that applies principles of experimental design and statistical analysis to the use of human senses (sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing) for the purpose of evaluating consumer products. We bring over 30 years’ experience in sensory research to help R&D groups, marketers, sales teams and manufacturers to optimize their product characteristics.    

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We provide sensory testing with fifteen sensory labs in 8 countries within the Merieux NutriSciences’ network.  We also offer sensory testing services in 15 other countries by utilizing local partner labs.  Globally we cover all sensory testing forms including trained (QDA and Spectrum) and untrained consumer testing, discrimination testing, quantitative and qualitative testing, and sensory training.  We offer central location testing, in-home use testing, and customer inceptions.

With 88 sensory experts in 15 dedicated labs on four continents, Mérieux NutriSciences offers a full spectrum of sensory services.

Two types of customized sensory panels are available according to your needs:

  • Multiproduct panels
  • Dedicated panels

Sensory research services

Each individual has a unique experience in contact with your product. Analyzing and understanding consumers’ sensory perceptions of your product is the best way to ensure you meet market expectations.

Our sensory studies enable you to:

  • Establish the sensory positioning of your products in their competitive environment
  • Explain consumer preferences (Preference Mapping) and define optimization routes or identify new sensory niches
  • Understand the sensory signature of a brand
  • Validate new formulations or manufacturing processes
  • Evaluate sensory constancy of your products through time (shelf-life determination, quality follow-up, etc.)
  • Create a sensory vocabulary specific to your product’s category 

Sensory testing services:

Descriptive Analysis

  • Conducted when detailed sensory information (i.e. appearance, aroma, flavor and texture) must be obtained. Output is a “sensory profile” outlining the attributes of the product and intensity for each attribute. 
  • Used to define sensory characteristics of a target for product development or defining a standard. Characteristics identified in the product allow the creation of a product profile or thumbprint.  
  • Employs descriptive panel of 10-20 members trained for the “world of food.”  

Difference Testing

  • Triangle Testing – Determines if a difference exists between two samples. Panelists are told two samples are the same and one is different and may be asked to determine which is the odd or different sample and to describe the nature of the difference.  
  • Degree of Difference (DOD) / Difference From Control – Determines the existence and magnitude of difference between two samples. Useful when relative size of difference from the control is important for decision-making as well as for QA/QC programs. Panelists receive extensive training in DOD methodology, enabling them to discriminate differences in samples and quantify the magnitude of difference.