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Tasting Methodology

An objective and independent tasting process

Blind Sensory Analysis

  • Products are blind-tasted. To ensure an objective evaluation, the jury is unaware of the products’ brand names, the producers’ names and the origin of the products. The testers only receive a short description of the category.
  • Each product is evaluated for its organoleptic quality following a systematic approach based on the 5 International Hedonic Sensory Analysis criteria (AFNOR XP V09A standards): First Impression, vision, olfaction, taste, texture (food) or final sensation (drinks).
  • Each jury member evaluates and scores the product on his/her own, in silence and without communication with other jury members.

Product preparation & Presentation

  • All products are presented in standardized transparent or white chinaware and in natural lighting conditions. This standard methodology ensures that the analysis process is consistent over time.
  • The products are prepared and served according to a precise protocol strictly respecting the producer preparation and serving instructions.
  • The Taste Institute reserves the right to test the physical and chemical components of the samples with accredited laboratories to ensure that the products tested match the quality of products available to consumer.

Tasting Philosophy and scoring method

  • It is not a competition: each product is scored on its intrinsic organoleptic quality.
  • The products are evaluated and scored according to what is expected from a consumer product from its category.
  • Jury members are not asked whether they personally like the product or not, but how good its gustatory qualities are for a consumer product in its category.
  • To some extent, taste is subjective and there certainly is a cultural factor in taste; however, 15 years of taste evaluation experience with some of the best taste experts in the world has demonstrated that in most cases there is a very strong consistency in the evaluations.
  • To reflect the overall hedonic quality, the Total Score is a weighted average of the 5 International Sensory Analysis criteria.
At the Taste Institute, we always follow a very strict testing methodology. It’s a blind tasting done in silence; this is the best way to objectively assess a product. We're not asked if we personally like the product but rather if it is well made and how its organoleptic characteristics compare to those expected for its category.

Ferran Centelles

Master Sommelier @ El bulli ***

Girona, Spain

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