The potential value of using computerised systems in sensoryanalysis is discussed in this preliminary study. This includedassessing the impact on panel motivation, and on theconsistency of responses made through a comparison ofmanual and computerised methods.Accuracy and consistency appeared to improve signi&antlyas the tests progressed, and on completing the session computeraccuracy was superior. Hedonic tests provided substantialvariation, although generally deviations in computer responseswere lower. The affective tests produced a more erraticresponse pattern, although this may have been expected, dueto the greater subjectivity involved.Finally, a focus group provided valuable reinforcement ofresults and clariJication of assessor preferences. The computerisedsensory system was unanimously preferred and mayprovide an effective tool in maintaining motivation levels.However, careful and consistent management is still requiredaifre sults are to be meaningful. Copyright 0 1996 ElsevierScience Ltd
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