Two new proposed standards from ASTM.
Small group evaluations can be useful to any company that is attempting to evaluate products or potential products. A proposed new ASTM International standard, ASTM WK46357, Guide for Best Practices for Small Group Product Evaluations, will provide sensory professionals with a guide to set up small group evaluations that will meet objectives in the most unbiased manner possible.
"There is a real need in the sensory science community for this proposed standard," said ASTM member Lori Rothman, Section Manager, Kraft Foods. "Everyone who either leads or participates in these types of evaluations wants to be as unbiased as possible, yet there are not current resources on this topic."
Lori said that primary users of ASTM WK46357 will be product testers, particularly sensory or marketing research professionals. "ASTM WK46357 is being developed for situations where either larger scale, consumer evaluations or trained and experienced sensory panel evaluations are not warranted," said Lori. "The goal of the proposed standard is to recommend processes and procedures to minimize bias and address the research question in as professional and scientific a manner as possible, either before conducting a larger scale, more formal test or as a final stand-alone evaluation."
ASTM WK46357 is being developed by Subcommittee E18.04 on Fundamentals of Sensory, part of ASTM International Committee E18 on Sensory Evaluation. E18.04 seeks participation in the development of ASTM WK46357 from anyone who plans or executes product evaluations in small group setting.
Knowing that potential customers like a product, and possibly prefer it to other products, is clearly a crucial piece of knowledge for a sensory science and marketing research professional of any company to have. Establishing consumer's hedonic response to products is most often measured by using a nine-point liking scale or a method that determines preference or choice. A proposed new standard, ASTM WK22268, Guide for Two-Sample Acceptance and Preference Testing with Consumers, will be the first standard guide to cover issues considered in hedonic product testing.
Once approved, the proposed standard will serve as a guide for less experienced sensory researchers as well as those with more experience. It will cover how to establish a product's hedonic status based on sensory attributes alone, rather than brand, positioning, imagery or other non-sensory aspects. The guide will be used by a range of people who conduct product testing, on food as well as on other consumer packaged products.
A flowchart featured in the proposed standard catalogues the process for making acceptance and preference testing decisions. Lori said says that using the flowchart in conjunction with the various sections of ASTM WK22268 will provide ample consideration of the major factors that guide acceptance and preference testing.
ASTM WK22268 is being developed by Subcommittee E18.04 on Fundamentals of Sensory, part of ASTM International Committee E18 on Sensory Evaluation.
ASTM International welcomes participation in the development of its standards.
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