May 7 - 9, 2019

Sensory and Consumer Testing in Quality Assurance and Product Development

The Williamsburg Lodge  |  Colonial Williamsburg, VA

Registration Fee: $1,975

IN THIS NEW COURSE, we will link techniques from quality assurance – control charts, action standards, and quality function deployment (QFD) – with sensory methodology and Drivers of Liking®.

Consumers’ liking or satisfaction with products can be unfolded to sensory characteristics that are important to them. This information can then feed into a QFD process to ensure product quality.

While reviewing basic sensory testing methodologies involving difference testing, ratings and hedonics, we will address two practical problems, an ingredient change and the development of a new product to appeal to a segment of consumers with an unmet need.

The course is cast in the context of a cookie company with staff similar to the participants. This means that the learning will resonate immediately and can be easily incorporated into the participants’ normal projects.




  • Food and beverage refreshments and lunch each day

  • A group dinner on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings

  • Printed manuals of slides and
    software exercises

  • FREE IFPrograms™ Tools software and a 3-month free trial of the Professional version

  • Complimentary IFP webinar - you can choose to attend
    an upcoming presentation or download a past recording

  • A copy of our latest books: Readings in Advertising Claims Substantiation, Tools and Applications of Sensory and Consumer Science, and Thurstonian Models: Categorical Decision Making in the Presence of Noise

The instructors for this course will be:

Dr. Daniel Ennis

The Institute for Perception

Dr. BenoîtRousseau

The Institute for Perception

Dr. Karen Garcia


Frank Rossi


Tuesday, May 7  |  8am-4pm


  • Overview of quality function deployment (QFD), control charts, and action standards

  • Applying quality control ideas to create an optimal internal sensory program

  • Sensory quality assurance

  • Review of discrimination testing methods

  • A reliable approach to estimate the size of sensory differences: The Thurstonian framework

  • Perception variability and a psychological decision process

  • Increasing testing efficiency: The tetrad test (requires 1/3 the sample size of the triangle test)


  • Quality assurance in practice: Acceptable and rejectable quality levels, alpha, and beta risks

  • Ingredient change dilemma: Different methodologies lead to different conclusions

  • Review of 15 published experiments confirming scaling theory

  • Resolving the differential performance paradox using Thurstonian ideas

Group Exercises

  • Use the binomial test to establish a difference

  • Estimate values from experimental data: Which of two prototypes is more similar to a reference? Reconcile apparently inconsistent results

  • Predict relative method performances with computer generated simulations

Wednesday, May 8  |  8am-4pm


  • A risk management approach to sensory quality assurance

  • Best practices in replicated testing

  • The 5 cornerstones of product testing: alpha, power, sample size, size of the difference, and protocol

  • Establishing a sensory action standard using the same-different method

  • Relating internal panel to consumer data to ensure the consumer relevance of an action standard

  • Using confidence intervals to establish difference or equivalence

  • Consumer relevant confidence: How statistical significance can result in missed opportunities


  • Confirming the value of using the tetrad method with children

  • Replicated testing: Expected variability from 50 industrial results

  • Applying risk management ideas to a major food company’s sensory program

  • Sensory action standard: Same-different vs. paired preference estimates

  • Linking a trained panel and consumer sensitivities for ice cream testing

Group Exercises

  • Calculate optimal experiment samples sizes based on study specifications

  • Find the sensory action standard using the same-different method

  • Establish the optimal sample size for a discrimination testing program based on the methodology, alpha, power, and the consumer relevant sensory standard

  • Study the relevance of a difference by comparing experimental results to the sensory standard

Thursday, May 9  |  8am-4pm


  • A conceptual framework for new product innovation

  • Unfolding using Landscape Segmentation Analysis® (LSA)

  • Segmentation based on individual ideals and connecting them to demographics

  • LSA vs. factor analysis: The issue of dimensionality

  • LSA vs. internal preference mapping (IPM): Accounting for individual ideals

  • LSA vs. external preference mapping (EPM): Finding a space relevant to the consumer

  • 2D vs. 3D solution: How to choose

  • How to predict new product performance using a preexisting LSA solution

  • Portfolio optimization – finding the best team of products in a portfolio


  • Identifying drivers of consumer acceptability using factor analysis

  • External preference mapping of 10 brands of low fat chocolate chip cookies

  • 27 grocery product category appraisals comparing LSA and internal preference mapping

  • Three issues in the beer market addressed using LSA

  • Blind-branded LSA and determining concept equity vs. product equity

Group Exercises

  • Unfold liking data to generate a sensory space defined by attributes driving liking

  • Study and qualify consumer segmentation

  • Uncover a product category’s drivers of liking

  • Predict prototype locations in a previously generated LSA

  • Find an optimal portfolio by optimizing liking


Please enter your information below to register for this course. Those registering 2 or more attendees from the same company are eligible for a 20% discount on the 2nd registration. Please contact Sue Longest before registering if you are eligible for a discounted rate. 


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