Small Group Product Evaluations

Small group evaluations can be useful to any company that is attempting to evaluate products or potential products. A proposed new ASTM International standard, WK46357, Guide for Best Practices for Small Group Product Evaluations, will provide sensory professionals with a guide to set up small group evaluations that will meet objectives in the most unbiased manner possible.

"There is a real need in the sensory science community for this proposed standard," says ASTM member Lori Rothman, section manager, Kraft Foods. "Everyone who either leads or participates in these types of evaluations and wants to be as unbiased as possible, yet there are not current resources on this topic."

Rothman says that primary users of WK46357 will be product testers, particularly sensory or marketing research professionals.

"WK46357 is being developed for situations where either larger scale, consumer evaluations or trained and experienced sensory panel evaluations are not warranted," says Rothman. "The goal of the proposed standard is to recommend processes and procedures to minimize bias and address the research question in as professional and scientific a manner as possible, either before conducting a larger scale, more formal test or as a final stand-alone evaluation."

WK46357 is being developed by Subcommittee E18.04 on Fundamentals of Sensory, part of ASTM International Committee E18 on Sensory Evaluation. E18.04 seeks participation in the development of WK46357 from anyone who plans or executes product evaluations in small group settings.

CONTACT Technical Information: Lori Rothman, Kraft Foods • Glenview, Ill. • Phone: 847-646-7318 | ASTM Staff: Scott Orthey • Phone: 610-832-9730 | Upcoming Meeting: Sept. 15-16 • In conjunction with the Society of Sensory Professionals • Tucson, Ariz.

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