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Extended-Use Testing Is Initial Focus of Sensory Research Group

New Subcommittee E18.94 on Sensory Research has formed in ASTM Committee E18 on Sensory Evaluation of Materials and Products to promote scientific research in the sensory community, address fundamental sensory issues, and enhance the technical depth and value of E18 publications.

Chairman of the new research group, Suzanne Pecore, M.S., manager, Sensory Science Group, General Mills, Inc., Minn., described new trends in sensory evaluation that will be studied: “Our initial focus is on an area broadly defined as ‘extended use testing.’ The goal of such research is to develop an efficient, reliable method to predict long-term acceptance of consumer products. Research will address such topics as which sensory measurements are most predictive, the length/frequency of exposure required for the selected product category, the context effects, and the effect of environment.”

The subcommittee will develop research topics, solicit funds, oversee research proposals and communicate research results to the E18 membership and beyond. Currently the subcommittee has approximately 15 member-scientists from industry, government, and academia, with a majority in food-science and others in psychology, chemistry, nutrition, and statistics.

“Basically we are a standing committee that hopes to work with CPMS [ASTM Contract and Project Management Services] to generate funding for some pet projects of interest to our membership,” said Pecore who will co-chair the subcommittee with Karen L. Bett-Garber, Ph.D., Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, La.

“We would like to sponsor some fundamental research in areas that are of particular relevance to today’s sensory professionals, and are not being addressed fully by current research reported in the literature,” Pecore continued. “Ultimately such research may generate new task groups and documents that cannot be supported by current research data, but this is a longer term goal.”

Possible future research projects include:

• Targeting specific age groups in consumer and sensory testing;
• Satiety testing;
• Effect of diet on perception; and
• Perception of pain.

To participate in this activity or for further technical information, contact Suzanne Pecore, M.S., Sensory Science Group, General Mills, Inc., Minneapolis, Minn. (phone: 763/764-7448), or Karen Bett-Garber, Ph.D., Southern Regional Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, New Orleans, La. Committee E18 meets Oct. 2-4 in Montreal. For meeting or membership details, contact Jim Olshefsky, manager, ASTM Technical Committee Operations (phone: 610/832-9714). //

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