Calling time: Dynamic sensory methods
14 February 2022
Peter Burgess, Head of Consumer and Sensory Science
Food and beverage product reformulation and development, especially
that linked to 'Health & Wellness', should take into consideration not only consumer taste acceptability but also in-mouth texture and
physiological effects such as feelings of fullness and digestive comfort, and importantly emotional rewards attached to the consumption
Understanding temporal aspects of the consumption experience provides an important perspective on whether the product
is delivering against the consumer's targeted 'Need State', that is the motivation for consumption.
A temporal perspective on the food and drink product consumption experience needs to consider a number of
interrelated stages. These can consist of appearance, in-hand texture, aroma, front of mouth, mid and rear of mouth, aftertaste and after
effects. The stages must work coherently to produce the desired emotional response.
For example, appearance is important in creating expectations around the anticipated product experience (see previous
blog 'Integrating the Packaging and Product Experience in Food and Beverages'),
while the initial aroma top notes provide not only an indicator of freshness, for example, but can also trigger appetite based on learnt
experiences and emotions.
Front of mouth potentially forms the initial judgement, which is often associated with stimulation and excitement.
The crumbliness or crispness of the first bite combined with an impactful taste hit creates a powerful first impression of the product. Mid
and rear of mouth is where more complex messages emerge. Flavours in this area tend to be richer, released more slowly, more indulgent,
calming and relaxing, while aftertaste and after effects are critical to the enjoyment of the product and likely to drive repeat consumption.
Within the sensory branding tool kit, we utilise a relatively new Temporal Check-All-That-Apply (TCATA) method to
assess how the sensory properties of products evolve during the consumption experience.
In this method our highly trained sensory assessors check or uncheck attributes whenever applicable as the product
is consumed. Multiple attributes can be selected simultaneously, which permits description of sensations that arise both sequentially or
TCATA can also be used with consumers where, for example, 'multi-bite' assessments can be conducted to approximate
real life consumption situations.
The results from TCATA can provide detailed insights into the temporal properties of a series of products and
differences between their dynamic sensory profiles, which can be linked to variations in flavour and texture formulations.
TCATA data can be augmented with other temporal measures such as TDS (temporal dominance of sensations) to assess
intensity for specific attributes. TCATA results can also be mapped to consumers’ desired emotional outcomes of the consumption experience.
This approach, combined with insights on the physiological, psychological, practical and emotional benefits of the
product gained from other methods, enables Campden BRI to provide advice and guidance to members on how to develop an effective sensory
branding system. These approaches are increasingly important to enable brands to engage with consumers in a differentiated way.
Interested in learning more about our consumer and sensory science expertise:
Read our R&D report
which investigates the dynamic characterisation of oat milk and plant-based nuggets using TCATA (Temporal Check-All-That-Apply).
Watch our Sensory and consumer Member Interest Group video to find out what outputs you can expect from TCATA, as well as why, when and, how it can benefit your business.
Peter joined Campden BRI in 2003 and was appointed Head of Department for Consumer and Sensory Sciences in 2005 where he is responsible for the
delivery of both contract consumer and sensory testing and ongoing research for industry and public sector clients.
How can we help you?
If you want to find out more about how sensory branding can support your product development
initiatives, contact our support team to find out how we can help.
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This blog was first published in 14 September 2016.