Sensory Evaluation Techniques: 5th Edition (Hardback) book cover

Sensory Evaluation Techniques

5th Edition

By Gail Vance Civille, B. Thomas Carr

CRC Press

600 pages | 136 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2015-11-23
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This new edition of a bestseller covers all phases of performing sensory evaluation studies, from listing the steps involved in a sensory evaluation project to presenting advanced statistical methods. Like its predecessors, Sensory Evaluation Techniques, Fifth Edition gives a clear and concise presentation of practical solutions, accepted methods, standard practices, and some advanced techniques.

The fifth edition is comprehensively reorganized, revised, and updated. Key highlights of this book include:

  • A more intuitive organization
  • Statistical methods adapted to suit a more basic consumer methodology
  • Rearranged material to reflect advances in Internet testing
  • New time-intensity testing methods
  • New chapters on advanced sensory processes, quality control testing, advertising claims, and business challenges
  • New material on mapping and sorting, graph theory, multidimensional scaling, and flash profiling techniques
  • Explanations of theories of integrity, amplitude, and balance and blend
  • Updated appendices for spectrum method scales
  • Updated references

Sensory Evaluation Techniques remains a relevant and flexible resource, providing how-to information for a wide variety of users in industry, government, and academia who need the most current information to conduct effective sensory evaluation and interpretations of results. It also supplies students with the necessary theoretical background in sensory evaluation methods, applications, and interpretations.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Sensory Techniques


Development of Sensory Testing

Human Subjects as Instruments

Conducting a Sensory Study


Sensory Attributes and the Way We Perceive Them


Sensory Attributes

Human Senses

Perception at Threshold and Above


Controls for Test Room, Products, and Panel


Environmental Controls

Product Controls

Panelist Controls


Factors Influencing Sensory Verdicts


Physiological Factors

Psychological Factors

Poor Physical Condition


Measuring Responses


Psychophysical Theory






Guidelines for Choice of Technique


Define the Project Objective

Define the Test Objective

Integrate Project Objective and Test Objectives to Construct Test Design


Overall Difference Tests: Does a Sensory Difference Exist between Samples?


Unified Approach to Difference and Similarity Testing

Triangle Test

Duo–Trio Test

Two-out-of-Five Test

Same/Different Test (or Simple Difference Test)

"A"–"Not A" Test

Difference-from-Control Test

Sequential Tests


Attribute Difference Tests: How Does Attribute X Differ between Samples?

Introduction: Paired Comparison Designs

Directional Difference Test: Comparing Two Samples

Specified Method of Tetrads: Comparing Two Samples on a Specified Attribute Using the Method of Tetrads

Pairwise Ranking Test: Friedman Analysis––Comparing Several Samples in All Possible Pairs

Introduction: Multisample Difference Tests—Block Designs

Simple Ranking Test: Friedman Analysis: Randomized (Complete) Block Design

Multisample Difference Test: Rating Approach—Evaluation by Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)

Multisample Difference Test: BIB Ranking Test (Balanced Incomplete Block Design)—Friedman Analysis

Multisample Difference Test: BIB Rating Test—Evaluation by Analysis of Variance


Determining Threshold



Applications of Threshold Determinations


Selection and Training of Panel Members


Panel Development

Selection and Training for Difference Tests

Selection and Training of Panelists for Descriptive Testing

Panel Performance and Motivation

Appendix 10.1 Prescreening Questionnaires

Appendix 10.2 Panel Leadership Advice


Descriptive Analysis Techniques


Field of Application

Components of Descriptive Analysis

Commonly Used Descriptive Test Methods with Trained Panels

Commonly Used Descriptive Test Methods with Untrained Panels

Application of Descriptive Analysis Panel Data


Spectrum™ Descriptive Analysis Method

Design of the Spectrum Descriptive Method

Myths About the Spectrum Descriptive Analysis Method

Terminology and Lexicon Development


Combining the Spectrum Descriptive Analysis Method with Other Measures

Spectrum Descriptive Procedures for Quality Assurance, Shelf-Life Studies and So On


Appendix 12.1 Spectrum Terminology for Descriptive Analysis

Appendix 12.2 Spectrum Intensity Scales for Descriptive Analysis

Appendix 12.3 Streamlined Approach to Spectrum References

Appendix 12.4 Spectrum Descriptive Analysis: Product Lexicons

Appendix 12.5 Spectrum Descriptive Analysis: Examples of Full Product Descriptions

Appendix 12.6 Spectrum Descriptive Analysis Training Exercises


Affective Tests: Consumer Tests and In-House Panel Acceptance Tests

Purpose and Applications

The Subjects/Consumers in Affective Tests

Choice of Test Location

Affective Methods: Qualitative

Affective Methods: Quantitative

Internet Research

Using Other Sensory Methods to Uncover Insights

Appendix 13.1 Screeners for Consumer Studies—Focus Group, CLT, and Home Use Test (HUT)

Appendix 13.2 Discussion Guide—Group or One-on-One Interviews

Appendix 13.3 Questionnaires for Consumer Studies

Appendix 13.4 Protocol Design for Consumer Studies


Basic Statistical Methods


Summarizing Sensory Data

Statistical Hypothesis Testing

Thurstonian Scaling

Statistical Design of Sensory Panel Studies

Appendix 14.1 Probability


Advanced Statistical Methods


Data Relationships

Preference Mapping

Treatment Structure of an Experimental Design


Guidelines for Reporting Results


Anatomy of the Report

Graphical Presentation of Data

Example Reports (Tables 16.2 through 16.4)


Sensory Evaluation in Quality Control (QC/Sensory)


Attribute Descriptive Methods

Difference-from-Control Methods

In–Out Method


Advanced Consumer Research Techniques


Front End of Innovation

Sequence Mapping

Capturing the Iconic Experience

Consumer Cocreation

Qualitative Use of Kano Methodology

Benefit Perception beyond Liking: Functional, Emotional, and Health and Wellness Benefits

Behavioral Economics

Category Appraisals, Key Drivers Studies and Sensory Segmentation

Ad Claims

Additional Resources


Statistical Tables

Practical Sensory Problems

Scenario 1

Scenario 2

Scenario 3

Scenario 4

Scenario 5


Additional Qualitative References

About the Authors


Gail Vance Civille

New Providence, New Jersey, United States

Learn more about Gail Vance Civille >>

Gail Vance Civille is president of Sensory Spectrum, Inc., a management consulting firm involved in the sensory evaluation of foods, beverages, pharmaceuticals, paper, fabrics, personal care, and other consumer products. She has trained several flavor and texture descriptive profile panels in her work with industry, universities, and government. She has also conducted several workshops and courses in basic sensory evaluation methods as well as in advanced methods and theory. She is a founding member and former chair of the Society of Sensory Professionals, and has published several articles on general sensory methods as well as sophisticated descriptive flavor and texture techniques.

B. Thomas Carr is principal of Carr Consulting, a research consulting firm that provides project management, product evaluation, and statistical support services to the food, beverage, personal care, and home care industries. He has over 30 years of experience in applying statistical techniques to all phases of research on consumer products. He is a member of the US delegation to the ISO TC34/SC12, is involved in the statistical training of scientists, and has been invited by several professional organizations to speak on topics of statistical methods and statistical consulting in industry.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Botany
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Agriculture / General