Descriptive Analysis testing involves the evaluation of a product’s sensory characteristics by a trained panel. Descriptive methodology uses trained panelists who are screened for normal acuity and the ability to discriminate differences. They are highly trained on a specific product or product line to detect, describe and quantify attributes. A panel average or group consensus is used to report results.
Descriptive testing answers the question: What does the product taste, smell or feel like?
DESCRIPTIVE ANALYSIS CAN BE USED TO:
- Provide the whole picture of a product’s sensory properties
- Describe product differences found by discrimination or acceptance tests
- Differentiate prototypes and competitor products
- Describe a product’s change over time (shelf life)
- Measure a change in an attribute over time (time intensity)
Using descriptive analysis after a discrimination or acceptance test can help describe the differences found in these tests and aid in development of a product.