Parallel session

Development of a sensory descriptive method close to a real consumer consumption behaviour to characterize perceived complexity

Time session: 15.55 - 16.30

Who's the speaker?

  • Name
    Julie Palczak
  • Company
    Danone Research
  • Job title
    PhD Student

After an engineer’s degree in food science and applied statistics Julie joined Danone Research in 2015. She worked as Sensory and Consumer Manager in the Sensory and Behavior Science Team. In October 2016, she started a PhD in sensory science with both Danone Research and AgroParisTech (in the Human Food and Process team with Dr Julien Delarue and Dr David Blumenthal). Her PhD aims to investigate the influence of complexity on consumers’ preferences. This year, Julie published a systematic review in Food Quality and Preference. This paper reviews the scientific literature on complexity in the field of food and beverages. She gave also a talk at Eurosense in Verona on the same topic. 

Development of a sensory descriptive method close to a real consumer consumption behaviour to characterize perceived complexity

In the past few years, a growing number of multilayer, multitexture, and multiflavor products have emerged in the dairy dessert category. These products are appealing and often defined by consumers as being more complex. Capturing the full sensory experience that arises from the consumption of such products is a challenge and sensory methods need to be adapted to characterize these innovative products.

To address this need, we aimed to develop a way to characterize the full sensory experience associated with heterogeneous deserts, from the first spoon to the last. This objective was achieved through three successive stages, using a set of bi-layers chocolate desserts such as mousse-cream, mousse-mousse and cream-coulis as a case study. First, we conducted an observational study (N=30) both in sensory booths and in a group meal context to characterize consumption behaviours of bi-layers desserts. This helped us to define the most representative spoon path in a cup for this product space. Secondly, based on these results and following the guidelines for conventional descriptive analysis we gathered a panel (N=14) to determine the best procedure to characterize the temporal sensory evolution between spoons. Careful discussion with the panellists led us to adapt sequential profiling. This method was found to be precise enough to support the understanding of perceived complexity and it allowed analysis at the individual level. Finally, this panel was further trained in order to characterize seven bi-layers chocolate desserts using this adapted procedure. Results revealed a diversity of temporal sensory evolution between products and helped to understand complexity perceived at the individual level.

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