Something smells good

A standard for substantiating sensory claims on products just published.

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Por Clare Naden
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Many consumer goods these days seem to promise all kinds of sensory miracles, giving the impression they taste, feel and smell even better than you could ever imagine. However, the increasing number of such products, with their many innovative claims, raises questions around the scientific basis for such statements. This is why a new standard for sensory analysis has just been published.

ISO 20784, Sensory analysis – Guidance on substantiation for sensory and consumer product claims, is intended to guide researchers and sensory professionals who are charged with substantiating the messages used by manufacturers to differentiate their products from others. The standard will help scientists design tests that provide adequate support for the claims they make about their products’ attributes or performance.

Christine Van Dongen, Project Leader of the committee that developed the standard, said ISO 20784 was designed with the consumer in mind.

“Use of the standard provides assurance that product messages are supported with evidence, and gives proof that the tests, data collection and analyses are done using sound scientific principles,” she said.

“This will ultimately protect consumers from potentially misleading messaging that has no scientific basis,” she said.

ISO 20784 provides classifications and examples, highlights any special issues associated with testing and features case studies and references. It was published by ISO’s subcommittee SC 12, Sensory analysis, of technical committee ISO/TC 34, Food products. The secretariat of ISO/TC 34/SC 12 is held by IRAM, ISO’s member for Argentina.

ISO 20784 can be purchased from your national ISO member or the ISO Store.

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