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Sensory Evaluation

A 2-day short to help you understand the scientific side of tasting food!

Course Code: LF0606CA21

sensory evaluation of foods class

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Dates & Time

CANCELED October 7-8, 2020
8:30am - 4:30pm (Check in time on Day 1: 8:00 am)

Next offering tentatively planned for late fall 2021/early spring 2022. Registration will open when course dates are confirmed.

Sensory Evaluation Course Overview

Student Review

Trevor Nichols, Sensory Evaluation Course Attendee

"The descriptive analysis section was packed with information that I will be able to revisit and use with future projects. I loved the combination of chemical/food science information with consumer research and data analysis, allowing all fields to be involved with discussions."

- Trevor Nichols,
Product Development Assistant,
Par-Way Tryson

Course includes hands-on working demo with Excel!

Great food products delight many senses all at once. In fact, the sensory quality of a food product is the single most important factor influencing its success in the marketplace. You can increase the chances of a product's success in today's food and pharmaceutical markets if you can understand and measure the sensory quality of foods.

Build your sensory evaluation skills and develop a greater understanding of the science behind food aroma, taste, color, and texture in this 2-day class.

Through lectures and hands-on demonstrations, you will:

  • Examine the pros and cons of different food sensory tests, set up testing procedures, and evaluate real products.
  • Develop the practical skills necessary to set up your own discrimination tests, create testing protocol, apply real test procedures, and interpret what the results mean for your food product.
  • Learn how to evaluate the sensory quality of food products using statistical descriptive analysis.
  • Perform statistical tests using easy-to-learn steps and then progress to more complex assessment techniques.

This course includes a special visit to the Rutgers University Food Science Department and a tour of their sensory evaluation laboratories. You will be introduced to cutting-edge food related research and the innovative sensory evaluation techniques currently practiced there. Ask questions and see research related to concepts just learned in the classroom!

NOTE: A background in statistics is NOT required for this course. For more advanced food science statistical training, be sure to register for Making Sense of the Numbers: Statistics for Food Scientists.

Sensory Evaluation Course: Additional Details

Read more about what to expect at the Sensory Evaluation course! Click to expand each section.

Sensory Evaluation Course Topics

Discrimination Tests
Since there is no universal test method, each problem must be thoroughly analyzed before a specific test method is selected. Come learn the discrimination test methods designed to determine whether there is a perceived difference between samples.

Descriptive Analysis
Learn the analysis method models used to determine specific issues. Learn the types of panels, issues involved in the development of program, what to demonstrate, and the specific description analysis methods.

Consumer Testing Procedures and Issues
Learn the methods used to assess consumer responses to products, product ideas, and specific product characteristics that give a snapshot of the potential success of a product.

Statistical Discussion
Learn the statistical analysis of rating scale data, how to monitor the sensory panelist performance, how to design and analyze discrimination tests, how to sample serve order designs, product formulation designs, and methods relating variables. Don't worry - a background in statistics is NOT required!

Sensory Data Relations
Learn why it's important to validate data, how to validate it using different testing methods, and understand the product, the processes and the consumer response.

Flavor Descriptive Terminology and Time Intensity Measurement
Learn the different flavor profiles, methods, different descriptive terminology, and how flavor is enhanced by the environment. The key to making a food taste great? Making the product delight many of the senses at once.

Recent Developments in Sensory Research
Learn the most recent developments in the field of Sensory Research. Specialized topics will be discussed such as the genetics of bitter taste: insights into individual taste worlds.

Meet Your Sensory Instructors

Faculty Coordinator:

Dolf DeRovira, Flavor Dynamics, Inc.
President and Chief Operating Officer
Dolf remains active in the development of new flavor products at his company, He holds a joint patent with the Monell Institute in Philadelphia and has taught courses on flavor descriptive nomenclature and flavor technology. He is past President of the Society of Flavor Chemists and the Chemical Sources Association, and remains an active member of both. He is author of the Dictionary of Flavors - both editions and is Education Chairman in the Flavor and Extracts Manufacturers Association.


Tess Aldredge, McCormick & Company
Senior Sensory and Consumer Scientist

Corby Bacco, PepsiCo
Principal Scientist Sensory and Consumer Insights (New York)
Senior product and consumer researcher with 20+ years of experience in diverse product categories. In his current role, Corby leads research for key business and innovation initiatives globally for PepsiCo. This includes both qualitative and quantitative consumer research as well as sensory panel research to provide holistic understanding of the consumer and product experience. He earned his BS degree from Colorado State University in Food Science and, later, his MS degree in Sensory Science from Kansas State University.

Viktor Mirtchev, Nielsen
Director, Advanced Analytics

Viktor provides strategic consulting to Fortune 100 companies, including business plan and sales strategy development. Viktor is the former Senior Manager of Marketing and R&D Analytics for the Kraft Heinz Company, supporting Marketing, product development and quality efforts. He obtained two BS degrees in Statistics and Computer Science from Roosevelt University, a MS in Applied Statistics from DePaul University and an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.

Beverly Tepper, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University
Director, Sensory Evaluation Lab and Associate Professor in the Food Science Department
Beverly received her Ph.D. in Nutrition from Tufts University. Her research interests include sensory evaluation and consumer perception of foods; perception and preference for foods, especially fats; the influence of genetics, pregnancy and disease on taste and food ingestion; food intake regulation; and, the effects of dietary restraint on eating behavior. Watch a short video about the sensory qualities of candy featuring Beverly Tepper!

Here's what students have to say about the Sensory Evaluation instructional team:

  • "Dolf DeRovira was amazing and passionate. I would definitely attend a class with him again." - Christopher Stuart, Quality Assurance, Gaspari Nutrition
  • "Instructors are very knowledgeable and willing to answer questions."
  • "The presenters were great and very knowledgeable in their subject matter."
Who Should Attend?

Any food industry professional who wants to better understand the sensory characteristics of food will benefit from participating in this training course. Past attendees have included:

  • Food scientists

  • Food technologists

  • Professionals involved in sensory evaluation of food and beverage products

  • Food-related product researchers and developers

  • Quality control and quality assurance specialists
  • Food/beverage marketers or production employees

  • Industry professionals who conduct consumer preference/acceptance tests

  • Lab technicians and managers

  • Chef and culinary project managers

  • Marketing managers and research support staff
Student Reviews of Sensory Evaluation

"I truly enjoyed all aspects of the course. I will use the smell and taste evaluations every week at work." - Christopher Stuart, Quality Assurance, Gaspari Nutrition

"Excellent overview of sensory evaluation."

"It was a great refresher course of what sensory evaluation is and what capabilities it provides to benefit a range of companies."

"Covered all the different types of tests and ways to evaluate food products, from discrimination tests to consumer testing/acceptance testing, to descriptive panels by trained panelists."

"Hands on parts are great!"

"I learned the proper method of smelling and tasting during sensory evaluation."

Approved Credits

The October 7-8, 2020 offering of this course as approved for the following credits. We will reapply for similar credits the next time the course runs, but we cannot guarantee credit approval for future offerings.

In addition to 1.6 Rutgers CEUs, this sensory evaluation food science training course is approved for the following continuing education credits:

This program qualifies for Certified Food Scientist (CFS) recertification contact hours (CH). CFS Certificants may claim a maximum of 13 CH for their participation in this program. For more information, please visit or email

Rutgers University, NJAES, Office of Continuing Professional Education has been approved by the New Jersey Department of Health as a provider of NJ Public Health Continuing Education Contact Hours (CEs). CEs for Sensory Evaluation are still pending.

Multi Course Registration Fee With Statistics for Food Scientists TBD Save when you register for both courses at the same time!
Early Registration Fee TBD  
Registration Fee TBD  
Cancellation Fee TBD  

Substitutions are permitted. View cancellation policy.


Continental breakfast and deli buffet lunch will be provided to you at no additional cost.

NOTE: If you have any dietary restrictions or food allergies, please alert us at least one (1) week in advance of the course start date so that we can make reasonable accommodations. We cannot guarantee accommodations for special requests made after that time.


GPS systems may not recognize campus addresses. Even if they take you to the correct building, they will not take you to the assigned parking lot. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you use the directions we provide.

Cook Student Center, Room 202s
59 Biel Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Directions, Parking Information & Map

All visitors must register their vehicles ONLINE to park on campus. Please follow the guidelines below. Failure to comply with these policies may result in a citation.

  • A link will be provided in your course registration confirmation email. Please be sure to complete this important step prior to traveling to campus.
  • When you park on campus, be sure that your license plate is unobstructed and visible from the driving aisle.
  • All Rutgers faculty/staff/students must use their regular Rutgers permit and park in the nearest lot assigned for their permit type.

Note: Pre-registration is required. We're sorry, but we cannot guarantee a seat, materials or meals for walk-in registrants. Location is subject to change; registrants will be notified in the event of a change.


Sorry, registration is not currently available for this course.

Would you like to be notified about upcoming courses? 
Here are 3 convenient ways to be added to our mailing list:
1. Click here to join our mailing list (please reference "Sensory Evaluation" or Course Code LF0606) 
2. Call us at 848-932-9271, select option 3
3. E-mail us at

Program Questions? Contact Us!

Program Coordinator: Suzanne Hills, 848-932-7234
Administrative Assistant: Sarah McCarthy, 848-932-7703

Attention U.S. Veterans

This course is approved by the New Jersey State Approving Agency for Veterans Training for educational benefits through the GI Bill®. For more information about the GI Bill, click here.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at

View all Rutgers food science and food safety training courses