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The effect of design and demographic factors on consumer sensory scores

Thompson, J.M., Pleasants, A.B. and Pethick, D.W. (2005) The effect of design and demographic factors on consumer sensory scores. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 45 (5). pp. 477-482.

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The importance of design and demographic effects on sensory scores for tenderness, juiciness, like flavour and overall liking scores was examined using a dataset of 24 840 untrained consumer tastings on 2484 grilled sheep meat samples, from 4140 consumers. These samples were tasted as part of 23 separate taste panels, each made up of 9 separate sessions each comprising of 20 different consumers. Before undertaking the tastings, each consumer provided demographic details detailing age class, gender, occupation, frequency of eating meat, number of adults and children living in the household, their appreciation of meat, preferred degree of doneness and income category. Taste panel had a significant (P<0.001) effect on the 4 sensory scores, which in part would have reflected experimental effects on sensory scores. The experimental sample was still highly significant (P<0.001) even though, effect of session and taster, nested within taste panel, were also significant (P<0.001) for all sensory attributes. Demographic effects showed that age, gender and number of adults in the household had significant (P<0.05) effects on juiciness scores, but not for tenderness, like flavour and overall liking scores (P>0.05). All 4 sensory scores were affected (P<0.05) by consumer appreciation of meat, where those who enjoyed red meat and considered it an important part of their life gave sensory scores 2-4 units greater (on a 100-point scale) than consumers' who were indifferent to red meat. Those consumers who preferred medium to well-done meat gave sensory scores that were 2 units higher than consumers who preferred medium, or rare meat. All other demographic effects were not significant (P>0.05) for any of the 4 sensory scores. It was concluded that demographic effects had only a minor impact on sensory scores. This inferred that the need to balance consumer demographics for sensory panels was relatively unimportant.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Copyright: © CSIRO 2005.
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