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Ranking Body Creams by Sensory Properties from Cosmetics & Toiletries

25 January 2016

Jan 21, 2016 | Contact Author | By: Celine Marque, Oriflame R&D, Bray, Ireland

The Quantitative Descriptive Analysis (QDA) profile is a well-known method to qualify and quantify the sensory differences between products. QDA profiles provide powerful results for the sensory evaluation of food or non-food products, especially when a detailed sensory profile is required or where similar products are being compared.1

One disadvantage of the QDA profile, however, is the process for calibrating the panel. A long, intensive period is required to train panelists to understand different sensations, and to grade intensity differences similarly on specific scales. This step incurs costs and resources in order to achieve consistent results beyond the calibration time.2

New sensory tests were developed based on industry demand to obtain similar results to traditional descriptive sensory tests but faster and cheaper. These tests include the flash profile and projective mapping and sorting, which typically recruit untrained panelists, i.e., consumers,3-7 and require fewer sessions than the QDA profile.

More recently, a sensory test called Ranking Descriptive Analysis (RDA) was developed, whereby trained panelists rank four products on an ordinal scale, from least to most.8, 9 The RDA approach previously was validated for sampling chocolate pudding. Trained panelists assessed ten specific descriptive attributes regarding texture and taste.8 To the best of this author’s knowledge, the method has previously only been used to evaluate food. Here, the RDA approach is used to assess the sensory properties of four body creams, and compared with QDA profile results.