Keep your R&D moving forward during Lock down - Part 1
Is your R&D in Lock down?
The impact of Covid-19 on face to face research has been extraordinary. However, despite this food and personal care companies still have an appetite to carry out research and keep their R&D programmes moving forward.
This series of articles explores how Sensory Dimensions can help.
Product Sensory Profiling via our Remote Sensory Panels
With over 400 trained sensory panelists working at Sensory Dimensions, it’s no wonder that our team has extensive experience of collecting sensory panel data from panellists working in their own homes. We routinely use this approach for our hair care and electronic cigarette panels. Both of these panels rate products against attributes in a standard lexicon.
Development of a descriptive lexicon from scratch poses more challenges remotely but Zoom Conferencing provides the perfect solution: the panel connects with the panel leader via Zoom and the virtual ‘round table’ discussion proceeds as normal. The limitation is primarily that imposed by the samples – any products that require preparation are subject to sample variability as there is no guarantee that every assessor will prepare their samples in the same way. the results do consider the variation that will be introduced by the end consumer.
Intensity ratings are collected using Red Jade software, as they would be when panellists work at our facility.
Would Sensory Mapping answer your Question?
Many sensory questions don’t require the by-attribute investigation that conventional Descriptive Analysis affords us.
If your research objective is to understand the sensory landscape, to recover overall similarities and differences in perception, or to allow for the identification of market gaps and opportunities, then the Rapid Sensory Methods - Napping, Free Choice and Flash Profiling - provide an ideal solution. These methods are easier and quicker to implement in-home than conventional profiling because there is no requirement for the panel to develop a consensus lexicon. Whilst their outcomes do not give the granularity of differences in individual sensory characteristics afforded by conventional Descriptive Methods, they do give robust sensory maps.
Techniques that screen down large sample sets ahead or before detailed descriptive profiling, also transition well into panelists homes. Our Pet Care Panel is currently carrying out hierarchical sorting of over 20 samples ahead of a Descriptive Sensory Profiling exercise on a sub-set of about 8.
Reformulation and raw materials qualification work often relies on sensory difference testing amongst in-house sensory panelists to give confidence that any change will not be detectable by the consumer.
If access to your in-house panelists is not possible, why not consider using our sensory panels to carry out these tests instead?
Safety of our Sensory Panellists and our team is our utmost priority at this time. We are working with logistics and packaging companies to ensure that all samples for sensory panels are packed and coded to minimise bias and give you confidence in the outcomes. This eliminates, as far as possible, the need for our team members to travel to our facility to handle or distribute samples.
If you have a Sensory Research question that you need to address, then please get in touch.