Ken Prusa Iowa State University

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Sensory Evaluation of Pork

Publish Date: June 3, 2006

Sensory evaluation of pork includes the use of either trained sensory panelists to rate eating quality differences or untrained, consumer sensory evaluation to determine consumer preference or acceptability of pork. This paper will discuss the fundamental considerations for conducting both types of sensory evaluation for pork. For trained sensory evaluation, the environmental, panel and product conditions must be standardized to remove any potential bias from the trained sensory panelist verdict. Trained sensory panelists should be selected using a prescreening interview to ascertain panelist interest and health followed by screening tests that determine the sensory panelists acuity and ability to listen and follow directions. After acceptance as sensory panelists, they will become familiar with the test procedures, they will recognize and identify the sensory attributes of the product, and exercises will be presented to improve their sensitivity and memory for test attributes so that their sensory judgements are precise and consistent. The trained sensory methods can be either difference or descriptive attribute testing. Types of difference testing used in pork are the triangle test, two-out-of-five, duo-trio, simple difference test, difference-from-control, sequential tests or directional difference test. Descriptive tests for pork are meat descriptive analysis, The Spectrum Method, the Quantitative Descriptive Analysis Method or the free-choice profile method. For consumer sensory evaluation, the study can either be conducted as a Central Location test or an In- Home Placement test. The hypothesis to be tested then must be defined and the study protocol design developed. Then the ballot can be determined. Selection of consumers may incluce consider ation of age, geographic location, usage rate, family members, usage types or styles, ethnic background, amount of exposure to like products, income level and special health considerations. After selection of consumers, the consumer sensory test can be conducted.

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