When manufacturers undertake reformulation of food & beverage products they frequently substitute one ingredient with another. Usually, the substitution is being undertaken for cost or nutrition reasons and the manufacturer does not want to change the taste or perception of the product by consumers. Testing to validate any changes in sensory perception of a product post ingredient substitution is important.
At Leatherhead, we have extensive experience in assisting companies with managing ingredient substitution.
We recommend that clients undertake discrimination tests such as a triangle test, testrad test, same-different test ( the methodology will depend on the type of product) with the sensory trained panel to understand if there are significant differences or not between the old versus the current ingredient. The trained panel is very experienced and proven at these type of tests if they cannot identify any differences then we are confident that consumers will not notice any difference.
If the trained panel does identify differences we can then describe those differences clearly and fully. In these situations we then recommend consumer testing to understand consumer acceptability/preference we suggest a consumer test (e.g. central location test or home use test).
- Breadth of panels – consumers at central location, at home, at location, sensory trained panels.
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