Appendix A – Terms Used in Evaluating Food Products

Visual Evaluation:

Appearance – aspect or contour

broken frothy rough smooth
cloudy greasy scum sparkling
clear lustrous sediment stringy
crumble muddy shiny translucent
curdled opaque shriveled dull
plump shrunken


Color – normal for substance, pleasing to the eye

bright faded normal snowy white
creamy gray off-color yellow
discolored greenish pale dull
golden brown rich


Shape – proportionate dimensions

broken irregular thick even
oval thin flat round



irregular medium uniform large


Grain – structural quality – such as crystals in candies and ice creams, size of pores in cake and bread, thickness of cell walls in breads or cakes

amorphous fine granular coarse
foamy heavy crystalline grainy


Flavor Characteristics:

Odor – volatile substances affecting sense of smell

acid burnt fragrant weak
acrid delicate strong


Taste – sensations produced by substances listed

bitter salty sweet sour


Flavor – quality which affects the relish, zest or savor.  Combination of taste and odor

astringent delicate raw starch
bland flat rich stimulating
blended mellow scorched strong
brisk pungent stale tasteless


Mouthfeel and Texture Characteristics:

Consistency – degree of firmness, density, viscosity, fluidity, plasticity, resistant to movement

brittle frothy runny soggy
crisp full-bodied syrupy hard
crumbly gummy solid mealy
curdled liquid stiff thin
firm rubbery soft


Lightness – well leavened, not dense; having low specific gravity

fluffy light in weight for size porous


Moistness – degree of moisture.  In fruits and meats called juiciness

dry moist water


Tenderness – ease with which can be cut, broken, pulled apart or masticated

tender tough


Texture – feel of substance between fingers or in the mouth; differences caused by grain, tenderness, moisture content, etc.

brittle granular oily smooth
chewy limp pasty soggy
fibrous lumpy rubbery sugary
firm mealy slimy stringy
grainy mushy


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