Sensory Evaluation

Sensory evaluation is the science of judging and evaluating the quality of a food by use of the senses. Many foodservice businesses conduct consumer taste tests to find out what their customers like and dislike. This helps food companies to design products that the customers will find tasty.

Customers test foods based on their likes and dislikes, but other food taste testers need to evaluate food objectively. Their job is to describe only the sensory characteristics. To increase the objectivity of the evaluations, blind taste tests are often done on food. A blind taste test means that the food samples are not labeled so that the testers will not know which product they are tasting.

You will need a lot of practice to successfully recognize and identify the many sensory characteristics of food. Culinary skills involve putting flavors together. The process of sensory evaluation, however, is one of taking flavors apart.

Product Factors

Different versions of the same type of food may taste or smell different from each other. For example, one vinaigrette (,vi-ni-'gret) dressing may taste more sour than another even though they both contain the same amount of acid. Several factors shape the characteristics of a food product.

Type of Ingredients

Vinaigrette dressings are made of oil, vinegar, and herbs. Different vinaigrettes may contain the same amount of acid. However, if they contain different types of acid, they will not taste the same. For example, if one vinaigrette is made from vinegar and the other is made from lemon juice, the vinaigrette with vinegar will seem more acidic.

Product Temperature and Consistency

Products that are warm usually have a stronger flavor and aroma than those that are cold. Thicker products may have less flavor than thinner ones. This is because flavor molecules take longer to dissolve or evaporate in saliva when food products are thicker.

Presence of Other Factors in Foods

You can suppress a person's ability to perceive flavor in foods when you combine flavors or aromas in those foods. For example, if you add a small amount of sugar to vinaigrette salad dressing, it will not taste as acidic. This is true even if the amount of sugar added is so small that sweetness from the sugar cannot be detected.

• Add acid to food to make the food taste less sweet.

• Add salt to food to make the food taste less sour.

• Add sugar to food to make the food taste less bitter.

Flavor Enhancers

Flavor enhancers change the natural flavor of food without adding a flavor of their own. They are able to do this through the chemistry that occurs between the enhancer and your body. It is believed that flavor enhancers interact with certain taste chemicals and receptors in your mouth. This produces a different perception of how foods taste with the enhancer than how they taste alone.

Amount of Oil and Water

The amount of oil or water in foods will affect the perception of taste and smell. A taste chemical that dissolves in oil will not fully dissolve in saliva. Because of this, little of it will reach the taste buds. When an odor chemical dissolves in water or oil, it will not evaporate to the olfactory cells where it can be smelled.

Plate Composition

The plate composition, or the way in which foods are arranged on a plate, should be carefully planned even before the food is cooked. Create contrasts in color and appearance, height, shape, texture, flavor, and temperature of foods.

Color and Appearance

The colors of food presented on a plate should be vibrant and contrasting. Carefully choose the foods and the plate on which the food will be served. However, the plate should not detract from the food presentation.

Cooked Lamb Plaiting Computation

Varying Shapes Plate food with varying shapes to make it interesting to the eye. What other features do you see that make this plate of food visually appealing?


Often, one of the most difficult elements in plate composition is varying the heights of food on a plate. For example, mashed potatoes might be neatly piped onto the plate in a circular pinnacle. Grilled steak is then placed leaning slightly against the mashed potatoes. A cob of corn could be cut in half and stood on each side of the steak.


Vary the shape of foods in every presentation. Do not serve a round meatloaf patty with sautéed peas and boiled new potatoes. These are all round forms. Instead, try serving it with asparagus spears and diced, roasted potatoes.


Include a variety of textures on each plate. Choose foods that may have soft, hard, chewy, crunchy, creamy, or meaty textures.


Each element of food in a plate presentation should contribute to the overall flavor, including any garnishes added. Flavor should be considered before cooking.


Foods should be served at the appropriate temperatures. Properly use hot and cold serving plates.


A garnish makes food or drink items look more appealing. Not all food presentations need a garnish. However, garnishes should complement the food. Some dishes are so identified with a particular garnish that they may appear incomplete without it.

plating elements should be considered?

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