Selection of panel members

Food Standard and Quality Control

Lesson 11 :Determination Of Quality Foods - Subjective Methods

Selection of panel members

In order to test the sensory quality of the foods one needs to have trained panel members , they are also called as judges. The individuals who can identify and differentiate and critical evaluates are required for this purpose. One individual may not be able to discriminate different aspects of food quality. Hence a panel of judges will be used. Members of the panel should be carefully selected and trained to find out difference in specific quality characteristics between different stimuli and also direction and intensity of difference.

To help with panelist recruitment, all potential panelists should be asked to complete questionnaires giving their food likes and dislikes, indicating their level of interest in the project to be carried out, listing any food restrictions or allergies they may have and giving times when they would be available for panels. This information will help the panel leader to select those individuals appropriate for the study. In a company or institution where sensory tests are conducted on a regular basis, it is useful to keep a file with information on all potential panelists. Records should also
be kept on each panelist who participates in any sensory panel.

The short listed candidates will be tested for the ability to of perceiving tastes, odour etc., using the basic tests. An example of basic tests schedules are shown in Table 1&
Basic Taste Recognition Test

The following concentrations of the four basic tastes of sweet,sour, sally, and bitter can be used for recognition tests.


Table 2.Ballot for Basic Taste Recognition Test


These solutions are prepared with distilled water and should be prepared the day before and allowed to equilibrate overnight. Approximately 25-30 mL of solution is needed per panelist. The solutions are portioned into individual coded sample cups for tasting. One or two water blanks are prepared and randomly placed among the four basic taste solutions. The coded samples should be presented in a different random order to each panelist. Panelists should be instructed to rinse the mouth with water between samples and clear the mouth with crackers if necessary.

The requirements for an ideal panel member are as follows.

  • Able to discriminate easily between samples and should be able to distinguish minute differences in sensory attributes
  • Should have sound health and free from any suffering like cold and cough which affects his sensitiv¬≠ity to a food. A sick person cannot judge the food correctly.
  • Should not be habituated to chewing pan or supari which affects the evaluation.
  • Should have experience in the particular field.
  • Should possess high personal integrity.
  • Should not be prejudiced.
  • Willingness to spare time for a required period
  • Should have an interest in sensory analysis of samples and enthusiasm
  • Should have an ability to concentrate and derive proper conclusion.
  • Should be available and willing to attend for required times for completing the entire evaluation of a product.

Candidates possessing these qualities must be indexed with details of age, sex, specific likes and dislikes availability.

Last modified: Friday, 17 February 2012, 6:48 AM