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Task Group Will Develop
Comparison Test Method

Coke or Pepsi? Work is under way on a standard test that will help to determine a consumer’s preference between two products. A proposed “Standard Test Method for Conducting a Paired Preference Sensory Test” is being drafted by the Paired Preference Task Group, part of ASTM Subcommittee E18.04 on Fundamentals of Sensory, in Committee E18 on Sensory Evaluation of Materials and Products.

Part of a series of classic sensory methods that are widely used, a standard paired preference test method would establish a uniform basis for product improvement or competition studies directly comparing two products in a consumer test. It could also be used to study how a new ingredient source affects preference of products.

Preference testing also has applications in guidance testing typically conducted by sensory departments, as well as by large-scale market-research organizations. For example, an advertising claim could be substantiated with the proposed test method, similar to documentation in ASTM E 1958, Standard Guide for Sensory Claim Substantiation.

To participate, contact Co-Chairs Colleen Conley, Protein Technologies International, Inc., 4RN, PO Box 88940, St. Louis, MO 63188 (314/982-3524; fax: 314/982-3122), or Lisa Thompson, National Food Laboratory, 6363 Clark Ave., Dublin, CA 94568 (925/551-4254; fax: 925/551-4224). Committee E18 meets Oct. 17-19 in Phoenix, Ariz. For meeting or membership details, contact Staff Manager Jim Olshefsky, ASTM (610/832-9714). //

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