In addition to microbiological, molecular biological, chemical and instrumental analyses for the quality assurance of food and raw materials, sensory training is also becoming increasingly important.
Consumers are paying more attention to the quality of a product and want a product that appeals to all their senses. Sensory training is used to ensure this. These can be carried out by external laboratories as well as by the company’s own employees in food processing plants.
In practice, the ability to carry out sensory tests depends partly on a person’s innate sensory abilities, but can also be trained. With the help of sensory training, these skills can be developed through special exercises. This creates competence in the quality assurance and product development of a company in order to optimize the product with regard to sensory training.
For more information on standardized sensory testing, click here:
Sensory training of employees and its advantages
A very important parameter for the quality assurance of food is the sensory testing of the products, since the visual impression, texture, smell as well as taste are decisive for the consumer. Sensory testing also plays an important role in the development of new products.
Sensory analyses are carried out by a sensory testing team (panel). In order to be able to achieve representative results and finally to be able to further develop and improve one’s own products, the participating persons should be trained regularly.
Participation in sensory training provides important benefits to employees and companies:
- Improving product quality by refining the formulation
- Maintaining existing good quality by identifying possible off-flavors that may result from storage or inferior raw materials
- Own employees know the products better than any external sensory testing panel. Thus, well-trained employees can most effectively detect and identify changes in the products
- Increased sales through improved product quality
- Establishment of an in-house team of experts
- Creating the conditions for product innovation through an internal team of experts: The internal panel can be quickly commissioned at any time and there is no need to resort to external experts
- Consistently high-quality products strengthen consumer confidence so that they remain loyal to you
Sensory Training with Tentamus
Participants of the sensory training courses of the Tentamus Group are able to identify the five basic tastes – sour, bitter, salty, sweet and umami – after the training. They also learn about different types of sensory training (e.g. triangle testing, ranking testing). With the help of flavoring solutions, off-flavors can also be identified and corrected after evaluation.
After successful participation, participants receive a certificate of attendance for their records.
We offer the following training courses:
1. Basic Sensory Training
Our Tentamus laboratories offer basic training courses in which various sensory tests must be passed. This seminar is aimed at all those interested in the field of food, who would like to learn more about sensory testing, sensory physiology and build up a basic knowledge.
The basic training consists of a theory part in which the human senses are explained and the link to sensory testing is established. In addition, the different possibilities of sensory testing methods, such as triangle testing and ranking testing, are explained.
This is followed by the practical part, in which the five basic tastes are first introduced and then identified in various solutions. Subsequently, two selected test schemes are provided for tasting. There, for example, the deviating sample must be found in a triangle test. After the basic training, the skills of the tasters should be extended by product-specific training and regular training.
- Basics of sensory training
- Insight into the most important testing methods
- Practical exercises:
- Identification of the tastes sour, bitter, salty, sweet and umami according to § 64 LFGB L 00.90−10 No. 4.4.4
- Triangle test of the taste type sweet according to § 64 LFGB L 00.90−10 No. 5.5
- Ranking test of the flavor sour according to§ 64 LFGB L 00.90−10 No. 5.4
2. Sensory Training with Flavoring Solutions
Food products consist of many flavors, which are difficult to distinguish for the layman and often blend into each other. In addition, off-flavors can occur due to incorrect storage or contaminated raw materials. With ready-made flavor solutions, employees learn to describe the sensory qualities of the products in the company more clearly. Tentamus Group’s flavor specialists can identify the most important odor notes or off-flavors of their product through years of experience from over 600 flavor components.
How does the training work?
Our aroma experts prepare solutions with aroma compounds that are quite characteristic for a product group. In this way, you learn to develop your own “flavor language” with defined compounds – in other words, to describe your own product and put the aromas it contains into words. Above all, this helps to find a common language and avoid misunderstandings.
What is the advantage of using flavoring solutions?
Often, food manufacturers only train with their own products, i.e., their own foods, etc. There is no ‘objective reference’ of the individual flavors in the product. This means that the products cannot be further developed or sensory training improved. However, this can be done with the help of defined aroma substances – and thus a comparative value.
A product tester describes that his coffee smells more like “cookie” compared to the competitor’s product – person A now associates something different with this than person B. Smelling like “cookie” can mean different things – in addition to caramel, for example, there are also the notes malty, toasty, vanilla, buttery, etc. However, if the customer takes part in the training with aroma solutions, he could find out that the coffee smells “caramel-like” (like the reference furaneol) when evaluating his product.
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Various training sets or sensory training kits can be ordered here:
certificates and refresher training
Will you receive a certificate for the training?
Upon successful completion of the training, you will receive a certificate of attendance from us. For in-house training, our experts can also provide you with an official certificate of attendance for your records.
How often do the trainings have to be carried out?
To refresh and regularly check the skills, appropriate training should take place 1 – 2 times a year. For the refresher, at least two test schemes are prepared, these can have a corresponding degree of difficulty depending on the experience of the person to be tested.
laboratories offering sensory training
The following laboratories from the Tentamus Group offer sensory training: