At Mérieux NutriSciences we provide quality monitoring programs to food service and retail customers that often benefit from the use of small group consensus descriptive analysis. This technique combines the level of detail found in traditional descriptive analysis with the agility of consensus profiling. When applied correctly this technique results in fast, focused product monitoring.

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I am always amused when shopping in retail stores and I come across a garment or accessory that has a sizing tag that reads, “One Size Fits All.” This is beyond laughable. What are the chances that this is actually the case? Simple genetics tells us that no two people are exactly alike so how can one garment fit everyone? If you topped the growth charts, these “one-size” garments never fit all of you, and if you are an extra petite person, you can hang that same garment on yourself like draperies on a window. The results will not be favorable or hardly functional, and this garment will remain unworn and eventually be tossed into a donation box or sold in a garage sale. It is wasted money.

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In September, I attended the Society of Sensory Professionals (SSP) annual meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio. Although I have been involved with this organization for a few years, this was my first SSP annual meeting. While it has taken me some time to write this summary (cough, cough), it was a great experience and I wanted to share some of the most impactful takeaways for other sensory scientists who may be looking to attend in 2019. 

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During my 30-year career in the sensory and consumer research industry, I’ve found that some of the most misused and misunderstood tests by food manufacturers are difference tests, which determine if the attributes of two food products are different. One common difference test is a triangle test, which presents panelists in a study with three different samples to taste. Two of the samples are from the same product and one is from a different product. The test determines if the panelists are able to pick out the sample of the different product from the three presented. Continue Reading

Biofortis is Mérieux NutriSciences’ global research organization serving innovation in food, nutrition, health, cosmetics and consumer goods. Every member of the Biofortis team plays an integral part in the success of the trials run. At the center of our projects coordinating the activities to ensure a smooth operation, is Linda Derrig, Director of Clinical Project and Data Management. I recently spoke with Linda to ask her about her background, her role at Biofortis and her outlook on the future of innovation in the nutrition field. Continue Reading

Sensory testing plays a large role in ensuring product quality in the food industry. From determining consumer preferences to testing for product quality, sensory services can offer valuable insights at every stage of the product development and manufacturing process. To share insight into the world of sensory under the umbrella of food science, I sat down with Allison Chandler, the Product Performance Operations Manager at Mérieux NutriSciences’ laboratory in Gainesville, Florida.

Q: Can you describe your role at Mérieux NutriSciences?
A: As Product Performance Operations Manager for Mérieux NutriSciences, I manage a team of food scientists focused on food quality. We perform physical tests, such as texture analysis, color measurement and viscosity, as well as a variety of sensory tests, such as triangle tests and hedonic testing. We also manage large supplier monitoring programs in which we compare food samples to specified parameters in order to ensure restaurants and retailers are purchasing the highest quality products.   Continue Reading

Imagine you purchase a new soup brand from the grocery store and end up really enjoying it. You tell your friends about this new favorite soup and then go back the next week to buy it again. However, after you try it the second time, you realize that the flavor and the ratio of veggies to broth aren’t the same as the first time. This may sound like a food manufacturer’s worst nightmare, but don’t stress, you can avoid this scenario by implementing physical testing into your food safety and quality monitoring. Continue Reading

When consumers make a trip to the grocery store, increasingly they are choosing private label products over similar brand name products. Over a two year period from 2013 to 2015, sales of store-brand products in supermarkets rose by 2% to total $62.5 billion in sales, according to P.L.M.A.’s 2016 Private Label Yearbook. Offering strong private label products to consumers equals increased sales and customer loyalty for retailers.

Following this trend, retailer interest in improving and monitoring private label quality has also grown exponentially. Retailers are focusing on ways to increase private label quality, starting with how they choose suppliers and following it up with a robust quality monitoring program. These monitoring programs serve to prevent customer complaints and create customer loyalty to the brand owned by that retailer.   Continue Reading