London College of Fashion visits SD Reading 2020
At Sensory Dimensions we value the relationships we build with our clients, partners and the many research associations and academic institutions we work alongside. Earlier this year we were delighted to welcome back the London College of Fashion and its integrated M.Sc. Cosmetic Science 2nd year students for an annual event hosted at our dedicated facilities. As part of their degree, the students are required to extend their learning past the theory and gain knowledge of the practical application of the principles of sensory and consumer testing in Personal Care products. From this they go on to design, implement and run similar projects of their own.
Sensory Dimensions opened the workshop with a presentation outlining the market research industry, Sensory Dimensions’ history and the developments in sensory and consumer research. The students then progressed onto the basics of objective and subjective testing, breaking this down to descriptive, discrimination and acceptance testing to experience how varied the testing methods can be. The process of product preparation, study design and controlling variables, and ethics of testing were also discussed.
"The field trip to Sensory Dimensions was very interesting and informative. It also helped me envision how the placement would work"
M.Sc. Cosmetic Science 2nd year students
The workshop included two practical elements. The first, a mini Quantitative Descriptive Analysis (QDA) session on moisturisers which gave the students the opportunity to work with a panel leader to generate descriptive terms, define them and rate the samples online. This mimicked the process our panels complete, but was an expedited version over 45 minutes instead of over the course of a week.
The second practical was a workshop on triangle testing where the students were given a hypothetical situation involving discrimination testing for hair products. They were then required to design a questionnaire to achieve the objective. During this design stage our Program Managers provided support asking probing questions to help broaden their thinking, enabling them to refine their questionnaire into a gold standard triangle test. This guidance helped the students understand why tests are run in a certain way, promoting problem solving to decipher what will and won’t work, adjusting to make improvements.
It is always a thought-provoking day; each year the students ask our team in-depth and insightful questions, demonstrating their comprehension in the sensory and consumer research field. Many of the students expressed interest in our placement application and we look forward to continued work with the London College of Fashion and its students, inspiring the sensory research experts of the future.