Sensory Evaluation

Sensory evaluation is considered the most important test to determine the flavor quality and stability of oils and is therefore used to evaluate the effects of processing conditions, storage time and periods, and packaging environments on the flavor of fats and oils. The most common sensory evaluation method involving fats and oils is a hedonic scale of 1 to 10; with 1 indicating a "repulsive" flavor and 10 a "completely bland" flavor, as shown in Table 4 (32).

Sensory evaluation can be expensive, subjective, difficult to reproduce, time-consuming, and not readily available. As a result, chemical and physical methods such as peroxide value, thiobarbituric acid (TBA), conjugated diene determination, fluorescence, Schaal oven test, and active oxygen methods have been developed to more efficiently evaluate the flavor quality and stability of fats and oils. The identification of volatile compounds that are responsible for specific flavors such as fishy or grassy has been made possible by correlating sensory evaluations with instrumental analysis such as gas chromatography.

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