Definition 

Descriptive Analysis is a technique that uses highly trained individuals who function together as a panel to objectively evaluate a series of products for their sensory (i.e related to appearance, aroma, flavor, and texture) properties.

These panels are trained using detailed lexicons with physical and chemical descriptors that are used to capture differences among samples and document each sample with its unique appearance, aroma, flavor, and texture spectrum.

Spectrum Descriptive Analysis (SDA) uses standard rating scales for intensity that provides highly reproducible data over time and panelists. Attribute Spectrums are developed for each product.  The strength of each attribute is rated on a 0 – 15 scale with 0 = none and 15 = very strong.

Applications of Spectrum Descriptive Analysis:

  1. Product Maintenance or Improvement
  2. New Product Development
  3. QC/QA Support
  4. Product Optimization/Interpretation of Consumer Data

Benefits of Descriptive Analysis

To understand product similarities and differences within a category

  • To track changes during development
  • To understand the impact of process or ingredient changes on products properties
  • To provide guidance for product development

To understand products and prototypes

  • Do products within one’s portfolio have a sensory identity?
  • Are products covering the product space?
  • How do products and prototypes compare to competitors in terms of sensory features?
  • Are there any parts of the space where no competitors currently play?

See Also

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