Reflection Paper on Sensory Evaluation

Corook, Mark Lester F. 2009-17733 FS 131 – Reflection Paper The journal article “Sensory food science in the changing society: Opportunities, needs, and challenges” written by Hely Tuorila and Erminio Monteleone is about the trends in sensory food science showing its history and its evolution over the past 15-20 years. The progress in research methods and instruments were also presented in the article. Also, it talked about the significance of sensory evaluation to the food industry, and the future opportunities and challenges in the field.

The topic was a good one and is relatable to FS 131. As a Food Technology student, this article is of great help on appreciating the course and the role of sensory food science to the industry. According to Tuorila and Monteleone, sensory food science has extensive function to food production and marketing – no food or beverage is worth producing and marketing without at least an approximate idea of the acceptability of its sensory quality. I strongly believe this statement since I think that consumer perceptions are highly relevant to commercial success of foods and beverages.

By reading the article, I realized that sensory evaluation is of great value to both the tactical and strategic research goals of the food industry. A brief history of the field was also presented in the paper. Pangborn (1989) stated that sensory food science evolved from the need for scientifically sound sensory evaluation of foods. By reading this journal, I realized that sensory evaluation is really related to the behavioural sciences, such as psychology, and to biology, nutrition and heath sciences.

I also realized that sensory evaluation functions like chemical, physical and microbiological characterisation of products. As I read the trends in the field, I realized that the research methods have grown immensely. I read from the article that for sensory evaluation to be scientifically sound, many skills and training are required. But sadly, not all of us appreciate this fact. New methods and instruments were summarized in a big table. It can be seen that computers played an important part on the progress of these methods.

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They are very important since they make data entry more convenient and less prone to errors. Also, internet is also an essential part of the development due to its use in data collection for various sensory tests (home use tests, online FGDs). I recognized the potential of the discipline to enhance liking for healthy foods. “New foods for the weight control market naturally require sensory testing and consumer acceptance research. ” Also, I believed that sensory research is a necessary tool in defining optimal sensory properties of a product. I realized the significance of sensory evaluation to catering services.

Sensory evaluation can be utilized to gather systematic sensory information across cultural preferences and to define acceptable options. Thus, the discipline helps in understanding the character of cuisines of different populations, which is very essential for businesses. Also, through reading the paper, I realized that there are great opportunities for sensory research and that in our changing society, new issues relevant to sensory science are likely to emerge. Thus, I see the need for high level basic training and opportunities for college students to specialize in the field, and proper funding for sensory research.

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