Statistics for sensory and consumer science

Statistics for Sensory and Consumer Science by Tormod Næs, Per B. Brockhoff and Oliver Tomic. John Wiley and Sons, UK. 290 pages. Analyses of consumer data and sensory properties are becoming ever more important in the process of developing products that can break through in the market.

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Statistics for Sensory and Consumer Science by Tormod Næs, Per B. Brockhoff and Oliver Tomic. John Wiley and Sons, UK. 290 pages.
Statistics for Sensory and Consumer Science by Tormod Næs, Per B. Brockhoff and Oliver Tomic. John Wiley and Sons, UK. 290 pages.

Analyses of consumer data and sensory properties are becoming ever more important in the process of developing products that can break through in the market.

The book Statistics for Sensory and Consumer Science gives a total overview of the most important and most common statistical methods for handling data from both consumer surveys and sensory panels. It also uses practical examples to demonstrate which methods are best suited to which uses.

The book is in two sections, covering the practical and the methodological.

Part 1 has a solutions-oriented focus and describes typical situations in which there is a great need for statistical methods, as well as whether and why different methods may be more or less suitable. The authors describe the important factors that influence choice and acceptance, as well as methods for understanding the relationship between sensory properties and consumer acceptance. The extensive use of practical examples makes it easier to comprehend the material.

In part 2 the authors describe and define statistical terms and methods. The various analysis methods are then assessed on the basis of how suitable they are for use with different surveys and studies.

The three authors, all of whom work on research related to consumer data, statistics and sensory perception, have had both industry and universities and colleges in mind when they wrote the book. While it will probably be natural for product developers, for example, to start with part 1, part 2 will probably be of most interest to statisticians. The combination of a practical and a theoretical approach and the comparison of examples and methods help to make this book unique. The material becomes more accessible and it is easier to understand the methods and how they are connected. The book is based on their own research and that of others and presents both well established methods and techniques and the latest developments in the field.

As well as being an independent work, Statistics for Sensory and Consumer Science is also one stage in the same authors’ “three stage rocket” in the analysis of consumer data and sensory properties.

The first stage is the PanelCheck software, tool for testing sensory performance which makes it far easier to perform quality checks on sensory analyses. Today this software, which can be downloaded free of charge from http://www.panelcheck.com, has become the industry standard for sensory panel data modelling and is also in active use in many universities, institutes and companies around the world.

The book Statistics for Sensory and Consumer Science is stage number two. The book’s third chapter can be seen as an instruction manual for the PanelCheck software. The ConsumerCheck software, which is under development, will be stage 3 and is a further development of PanelCheck. In ConsumerCheck, the interaction between sensory perception, knowledge about consumers and product development gives completely new opportunities for product innovation. Many of the other methods that are presented in the book will be available in this program. The ConsumerCheck program will be available from a website in about three years, in the same way as PanelCheck is today.

About the authors:

Tormod Næs:

Principal Research Scientist at the Nofima research institute and professor at Copenhagen University, Faculty of Life Sciences (LIFE). Has a doctorate in statistics from the University of Oslo and researches into both methodological development and applications in many areas. Has previously published 5 books and 145 scientific articles, mainly relating to statistics, chemometry, food research, sensory perception, spectroscopy and analytical chemistry. He has been European editor of the Journal of Chemometrics and co-editor of Technometrics, as well as chairing many international conferences.

Oliver Tomic:

Research Scientist at the Nofima research institute. Has a doctorate in gas sensor technology from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and researches into the field of sensometry. Has led the development of the PanelCheck software and is now playing a key role in the development of ConsumerCheck.

Per B. Brockhoff:

Professor of statistics and head of the statistical section at the Technical University of Denmark. Brockhoff has a doctorate in statistics and widespread experience of methodological development and applications in the field of sensometry. Has long been head of the international Sensometric Society.

Consumer and sensory sciences  

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