Consideration of sample heterogeneity and in-depth analysis of individual differences in sensory analysis

Cécile Bavay, Per B. Brockhoff, Alexandra Kuznetsova, Isabelle Maître, Emira Mehinagic, Ronan Symoneaux

Research output: Journal Article or Conference Article in JournalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


In descriptive sensory analysis, large variations may be observed between scores. Individual differences between assessors have been identified as one cause for these variations. Much work has been done on modeling these differences and accounting for them through analysis of variance (ANOVA). When the products studied are prone to biological heterogeneity (e.g. fruits, vegetables, cheeses, etc.), variations in the data may be due to assessor differences and/or product heterogeneity. The present paper proposes an approach for quantifying these two sources of variation. For individual differences, an extended version of the assessor model approach is applied. The data set used in the paper is based on sensory evaluations of three apple samples scored by a panel of 19 assessors using seven descriptors in four replicates. The application of the extended assessor model approach to unbalanced data provides more insight into assessor differences and a better test for product differences. These results demonstrate the importance of choosing the right model and taking all potential sources of variation into account.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Pages (from-to)126-131
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventSensometrics 2012 - Rennes, France
Duration: 10 Jul 201213 Jul 2012


ConferenceSensometrics 2012
Internet address


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