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What is all involved in a Sensory Evaluation Program?

Sensory Evaluation pet treats Finished Product

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Posted 19 June 2020 - 01:54 PM

We recently had a customer request a sensory evaluation program.


Currently we have the operators who are constantly looking at product, Managers on hourly checks looking, QA during Aw checking racks.  What is all involved in a Sensory Evaluation Program?




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Posted 19 June 2020 - 02:05 PM

Tricky question: how can you assess taste/flavor if it's not for human consumption and your target group is animals? Though, you could test products for color, consistency, aroma, texture, appearance.


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Posted 19 June 2020 - 02:51 PM

There are 5 senses and tons of different things to evaluate with them.

I would reach out to the customer and try to determine exactly what they want you to evaluate (texture, smell, visual). As far as the program, you would want to flesh out a document handling what, who, how to do the evaluation and control that just like you do your other analyses documents. Or, if you document analysis per product # like we do here it would be a simple update to the spec/TDS and CoA (if they want that on a CoA).
Here's a quick copy pasta of one of our specs where 'appearance' would be an example of a sensory evaluation:

Product Specifications




Assay (%NH4Cl)



pH (5% Sol’n @ 20°C)



Moisture (% H2O)



Lead (Pb, ppm)



Identification A & B



Fine to Coarse,

White to Colorless Crystalline Powder



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Posted 19 June 2020 - 02:55 PM

Normally it is a color, smell, taste, odor, texture, mouth feel, etc.


I watched a sensory panel at a dog food company one day while doing a 3rd party audit - they had bowls of their dog food set up in a room and they had their employees bring their dogs in on a rotating basis to check out the food - their were a number of items that had to checked such as releasing one dog at a time, which bowl they went to first, if the dog smelled the food and made choices between different bowls, if they left anything, etc.


If you can find a non-competitive brand and see if the QAM will discuss their sensory program as there is a lot involved here.

Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
GOC BUSINESS GROUP | SQF System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants
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