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Sensory Evaluation of Foods at AFBI

Appearance, odour, flavour and texture are extremely important for the enjoyment of foods. Sensory evaluation is a scientific method of assessing the eating quality of food under controlled conditions.
Sensory evaluation is undertaken for the purposes of:


  • looking at ways to improve the quality of food.
  • identification of production factors important for eating quality.


  • product development, problem solving and prevention of off-flavours.
  • management of quality by understanding factors affecting it and consumer requirements.


  • training industry personnel to assess eating quality.
Examples of Sensory investigations undertaken include:
  • Chicken: e.g. effect of production factors, high pressure processing on eating quality.
  • Beef, pork: e.g. effect of bull versus steer, breed, age and welfare of animal.
  • Milk and Dairy Products: e.g. identification of off-flavours, spreadability of butter.
  • Lamb: e.g. production flavours, varying salt levels for preservation in hot countries.
  • Salmon: e.g. influence of wild versus farmed and sea versus river.
  • Potatoes: effect of variety attributes most important for acceptability to consumers e.g. fertilizer, location.
If you would like to know more about Sensory Evaluation of Foods at AFBI please contact us at: sensory.evaluation@afbini.gov.uk