Agile Flexible Descriptive Analysis

How has SAM made Descriptive Analysis more Agile?

Descriptive Analysis is a highly valuable tool which allows sensory scientists to measure subtle differences in the sensory attributes of products, the results of which are then used to guide the product development process.

But manufacturers are increasingly under pressure to speed up product development cycles. So how has SAM introduced agility into the Descriptive Analysis approach whilst maintaining its robustness and accuracy?

Vary the number of panelists to reduce the time and effort needed – Panelists' sample sizes can be varied to accommodate smaller or larger samples according to the time and budget constraints of the project. Larger sample sizes reduce the number of measurements required but obviously have an impact on the number of panelists that need to be trained.

Adapt the number and type of measurements in line with the aim of the research – Best practice indicates that 3 measurements are optimal. However, this can be reduced to 2 measurements if required or even 1 if the sample size is increased accordingly. The RATA (Rate All That Apply) method can also be utilised in some situations instead of traditional Descriptive Analysis which saves time whilst maintaining data quality.

Modify the overall setting to better fit the conditions - Research location (Facility vs. Home setting) can be varied to best accommodate the project objectives and time and budget constraints. Panelists' training can also be conducted online, enabling a more efficient training process.

Use references for faster alignment of the panel – Sensory training of panelists can be expedited using references to more quickly align the panel. The research process can either focus on a comprehensive list of sensory attributes or specific dimensions that are imperative to the research.

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