Under the guidance of professors, students can use the Sensory Analysis Lab to learn the principal techniques of sensory evaluation in order to compare and judge the qualities of various food products, as well as the changes that take place during processing and preservation. The lab is also available to outside companies seeking to study the sensory properties of their own products, and provides an important quality-control opportunity, including a final written report of the results.

An adjacent lab kitchen is available for producing the samples tested in the 25 lab booths. Each booth is equipped with computers for recording test subjects’ responses, which are processed using software from the leading sensory analysis labs around the world.

Sensory analysis tests are used to study food-product or food-preparation qualities, through a variety of qualitative and quantitative sensory methods. Such tools are used to identify significant differences between similar products, as well as the intensity of both the differences and the sensory attributes. Results are often used in developing new products and marketing strategies.

The Pollenzo Sensory Analysis Lab may be used for the following tests:

  • definition of a typical product or industrial food’s sensory profile
  • evaluation of the influence of ingredients, process variables, and packaging on the sensory properties of the finished product
  • verification of whether products conform to a company standard or to the specifics of the production methods
  • comparison of innovative and traditional products
  • comparison of a company’s products and those already in the marketplace
  • identification of the sensory shelf life of products, i.e. the timeframe in which perceptible changes in sensory properties are not affected


Luisa Torri
Associate Professor of Sensory and Consumer Science