MEASURING THE RELATIVE IMPORTANCE OF SENSORY ATTRIBUTES AND ANALYTICAL MEASUREMENTS OF CONSUMER ACCEPTANCE

Howard G. Schutz
Why do we wish to relate sensory and/or analytical data to consumer acceptance? There are four general areas of interest which can motivate researchers to conduct this type of research. First, theoretical, that is an interest in determining a fundamental relationship between some underlying sensory or analytical property and the liking for a particular product. This theoretical relationship typically concentrates on the sensory or analytical characteristic itself, without regard to practical product problems. A second objective is seeking to develop product growing and development guidelines. By understanding the relationship between sensory and/or analytical data and the degree of liking, one can offer agronomists and food product development scientists guidelines as to which property should be emphasized in terms of growing practices or product development determinations. Decisions concerning seed selection, crop treatments, harvesting conditions, postharvest treatment, processing, ingredients, and economic factors can be made more efficiently with such information. Multivariate analyses, which allows one to determine the relative importance of sensory and/or analytical variables, is of special import for such guidelines. Thirdly, in quality assurance and control, the relative importance data can be useful in selecting those variables for which a particular control is valuable in order to maintain sensory quality. Such data can also point to the need for the development of sensory and/or analytical methods which can be used on and off the production line and through the growing and postharvest conditions in order to ensure the quality of food products. Fourth, and last, is the optimization of product acceptance, using sensory/analytical data, to develop a product which would be preferred over other products available in the marketplace.

There are various approaches in determining the relative importance of sensory and/or analytical properties to acceptance. Clearly, if there were just one combination of properties and levels, and all methods to identify them were without error, then all procedures would produce identical results. This in fact is not true. Since there is not one set of properties, and since the methods are certainly not without error, different results may be obtained by the method utilized. Each method has particular advantages and disadvantages in the development of products. The multiple regression approach described below is particularly useful in areas where less is known by the scientist about the sensory properties and their relation to acceptance of the product class. It is also particularly useful when the number of sensory dimensions which may influence consumer acceptance is so large that developing even an incomplete factorial design, for use in methods such as the response surface methodology, is inefficient.

Schutz, Howard G. (1990). MEASURING THE RELATIVE IMPORTANCE OF SENSORY ATTRIBUTES AND ANALYTICAL MEASUREMENTS OF CONSUMER ACCEPTANCE. Acta Hortic. 259, 173-174
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1990.259.15
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1990.259.15