History of Sensory Analysis

  • Mary Anne Drake
  • Stephenie Drake
  • Floyd Bodyfelt
  • Stephanie Clark
  • Michael Costello

Humans have used their senses to evaluate food for several thousands of years. Given that so many phytotoxins and bacterial metabolites are bitter, sour or rancid, mankind has probably used sensory evaluation since before Homo sapiens were human. Individuals can often tell by sight, smell, taste and, to a lesser extent touch, whether or not given food or beverage items are good or bad (e.g., safe or toxic). As civilization developed and the trading and selling of goods became commonplace, the first seeds of food sensory testing as we know it were planted. Potential food or beverage buyers tested or evaluated a small portion or a sample of products that hopefully represented the whole or the entire given lot of product. The product price was then established based on the relative quality of the product. This process of standardized product quality grading, the precursor of modern sensory analysis, subsequently emerged.

Several historical events in sensory science and the sensory...


Sensory Evaluation Sensory Analysis Electronic Nose Electronic Tongue Sensory Science 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Anne Drake
    • 1
  • Stephenie Drake
  • Floyd Bodyfelt
  • Stephanie Clark
  • Michael Costello
  1. 1.Department Food ScienceSoutheast Dairy Foods Research Center, North Carolina State University

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