Sensory analysis and research

Area of Expertise:

AFBI’s Sensory Unit (add better description) is a member of Sensory Food Network Ireland and is available for research on food flavour and eating quality.

Sensory evaluation unit

Sensory analyses and research are conducted for industry and for research. For industry, studies often include product development, problem-solving and off-flavour investigations and more in-depth research. Research focuses on improving food quality, evaluating the effect of production and processing factors on eating quality and investigating the relationship between physical and chemical measurements and eating quality.

A wide range of British Standard and International Standard methods are used, underpinned by professional statistical support from AFBI’s Biometrics Branch.

Both objective and subjective assessments are conducted, using a wide range of British Standard and International Standard methods, underpinned by professional statistical support from AFBI’s Biometrics Branch. Panel types range from full consumer panels (>100 people), lay panels (20-40 people) or fully trained descriptive panels (8-10 people).

AFBI’s Sensory Unit is a member of Sensory Food Network Ireland. All sensory analyses are certified under ISO9001.

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

Contact: Sensory evaluation unit