Emerging And Coalescing Technologies

A happy set of circumstances has made sensory-instrumental correlations both easier to detect and more useful than was true 45 yr ago. Hereafter the term instrumental will be used in a generic sense to encompass all forms of chemical, mechanical, physical, spectral, or auditory tests where there is some type of physical measurement being obtained to match against sensory evaluation. In other instances, the particular form of physical measurement will be named where that is necessary to provide accuracy. That is so for the first development to be described. The detection and isolation of chemical compounds became easier once gas chromatography was established (1). Prior to that time, analytical chemists often had to spend weeks isolating and identifying even a single substance. Inas-

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18. R. N. Shepard, "The Analysis of Proximities: Multidimensional Scaling with an Unknown Distance Function," Psy-chometrika 27, 219-246 (1962).

19. M. Bourne, personal communication, 1975.

20. G. A. Gescheider, Psychophysies: Method and Theory, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, N.J. 1976.

21. E. H. Weber, De Pulsu Resorptime, Auditor, et Tache. Annotations Anaomatical et Physiological, Leipzig, Koehler, 1834, (cited by E. G. Boring, Sensation and Perception In; The History of Experimental Psychology, New York, AppletonCentury Crofts, New York, 1942.

22. G. T. Fechner, Elemente der Psychophysik, Breitkopf und Härtel, Leipzig, 1860.

23. F. Lemberger, "Psychophysiche Untersuchungen über den Geschmack von Zucker und Saccharin," Pfleuger's Archiv fur die Gesamte Physiologie 123, 293-311 (1908).

24. S. S. Stevens, "On the Brightness of Lights and the Loudness of Sounds," Science 118, 576 (1953).

25. B. Bond and S. S. Stevens, "Cross Modality Matches of Brightness and Loudness by 5 Year Olds," Perception & Psycho-physics 6, 337-339 (1969).

26. H. R. Moskowitz, "Intensity Scales for Pure Tastes and Taste Mixtures," Perception & Psychophysics 9, 51-56 (1971).

27. H. L. Meiselman, "Scales for Measuring Food Preference," in M. S. Petersen and A. H. Johnson, eds., Encyclopedis of Food Science, Avi, Westport, Conn., 1978, pp. 675-678.

28. H. G. Schutz, "Food Action Rating Scale for Measuring Food Acceptance," Journal of Food Science 30, 365-374 (1965).

29. J. L. Balintfy, P. Sinha, H. R. Moskowitz, and J. G. Rogozenski, The Time Dependence of Food Preferences, Food Product Development, Nov. 1975.

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33. H. R. Moskowitz, "Relative Importance of Perceptual Factors to Consumer Acceptance: Linear Versus Quadratic Analysis," Journal of Food Science 46, 244-248 (1981).

Howard R. Moskowitz

Moskowitz Jacobs Inc.

White Plains, New York


Whenever the sensory properties of a substance are at issue, the sine qua non is that sensory evaluation is supreme. No chemical, physical, or instrumental test can substitute for sensory judgment under all circumstances. Humans and other animals are the only ones who can make decisions about acceptability or other sensory judgments. Notwithstanding that, there have been efforts as long as chemical and sensory measurements have coexisted for technologists and others to attempt to substitute chemical or physical measurements for sensory ones. Some reasons are obvious. Others are more illusory than factual. Among the obvious ones is the fact that chemical and mechanical tests usually can be conducted at any time whereas the "expert" tea taster, fish smeller, or the sensory panel—if the firm is more in the modern mode—are often available only during the daytime shift. Among the reasons more illusory than factual is the conception that chemical tests are more objective and precise; they often are, but that is not necessarily better. As in target shooting, there are differences between precision and accuracy. The archer or marksman may group shots close together, thus being precise, but the shots may be at the rim of the target instead of at the bull's-eye. Although a chemical test may be very precise in itself, it may miss the target simply because it is measuring an attribute not particularly well correlated with sensory quality. The purpose of this article is to describe how correlations may be established, if they exist, and how to use those that do exist most effectively as substitutes for, or complements to, sensory evaluation. The statement made above that no instrumental test can substitute for sensory evaluation under all circumstances is true, but fortunately there are many instances where instrumental measurements, once shown to be correlated with sensory judgment, can be used beneficially as replacements for sensory evaluation provided from time to time the instrumental test is restandardized or validated against sensory evaluation. In spite of some of the limitations just mentioned, the use of instrumental tests to supplement sensory evaluation for quality-control purposes is already a well-established industrial practice. In basic research, such tests are even more valuable. If we ever hope to understand sensory perception, most certainly knowledge of the role played by specific compounds, functional groups, and various forms of interaction among compounds must be ascertained. The interaction referred to here is not the chemical reaction between compounds but the perceptual interaction in the brain where there are often additive, masking, or synergistic effects. While correlations themselves are not adequate, they are a step toward establishing cause-and-effect relations.

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