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Temporal Methods of Sensory Perception

How long will a certain brand of chewing gum retain its flavor? Will a piece of steak retain its initial tenderness as it is being chewed? Questions such as these relate to how a product is perceived over time, an area covered in a proposed new ASTM International standard, WK41798, Guide for Temporal Methods. Temporal methods, such as those to be covered in WK41798, are used to measure dynamic product experiences.

The proposed standard, under the jurisdiction of ASTM International Committee E18 on Sensory Evaluation, is being developed by Subcommittee E18.04 on Fundamentals of Sensory.

According to Christopher J. Findlay, Ph.D., chairman, Compusense Inc., and vice chairman, E18.04, the development of WK41798 began with a workshop held during the E18 meeting on April 17.

“Sixty E18 members participated in a very successful hands-on seminar using three temporal methods to evaluate snack bars,” says Findlay. “Progressive profiling, temporal order of sensations and temporal dominance of sensations were used to collect data, and then group leaders presented their preliminary findings to the group. Each method used was able to determine temporal differences among the products.”

Based on the findings of the April workshop, WK41798 will address principles concerned with time-related sensory perceptions in the following ways:

  • Encompassing the task of data collection under a wide range of conditions and temporal rates;
  • Elaborating on single attribute measurements to address multiple attributes and multiple events or exposures; and
  • Exploring the analysis of data obtained through these methods, with discussion of alternative methods of obtaining data.

In addition, there will be a guide to the rationale for selecting appropriate temporal testing methods for each case.

Methods for measuring time-related changes that have emerged in the past decade, such as E1909, Guide for Time-Intensity Evaluation of Sensory Attributes, have been limited to the measurement of a single product attribute, such as sweetness. The combination of tests to be included in WK41798 cover multiple attributes and will be useful in evaluating more complex products such as wine.

All interested parties are invited to join in the standards developing activities of Committee E18.

CONTACT Technical Information: Christopher J. Findlay, Ph.D., Compusense Inc. • Guelph, Ontario, Canada • Phone: 519-836-9993 | ASTM Staff: Scott Orthey • Phone: 610-832-9730 | Upcoming Meeting: Oct. 22-25 • October Committee Week • Jacksonville, Fla.

This article appears in the issue of Standardization News.