Investigating Sensory Equivalence of Reformulated Products
Session Track: Emerging Opportunities
Session Date: Wednesday, February 27, 2013; 12:45 - 1:45 p.m.
Food and beverage companies are always seeking out ways to reformulate existing foods into healthier options without alienating loyal consumers. But matching the sensory characteristics of a reference product while reducing its sodium, sugar, or fat content can be very challenging. Once a proposed reformulation has been created, the sensory equivalence of the new and existing formulations must be investigated. To this end, sensory difference testing methodologies have been applied extensively. But despite their widespread use, many commonly used protocols lack the precision needed to avoid missing consumer-relevant differences and often allow reformulations to be sent to market only to be rejected by consumers. In this session, we review five basic principles of sensory difference testing that must be taken into account when investigating the suitability of healthier alternatives to current product offerings. We will also describe new developments in sensory difference testing that will provide the highest quality investigations between reformulated and in-market products.
Benoît Rousseau, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, The Institute for Perception
John Cowden, M.S., Senior Sensory Scientist, General Mills Inc.