18 JAR Attribute Testing
Numerous sensory tests are used in the development of new food products. These include Consumer Concept Tests, Attribute Tests (JAR Tests), Simple Difference Tests, and Home-Use Tests (HUT). Attribute Tests gather information on the acceptability of individual attributes for optimization of your formula for your new product.
- Gain consumer feedback on the intensity of specific sensory attributes
- Use consumer feedback on specific attributes for the optimum formulation of your new product
- The optimum formulation will lead to better product acceptance.
- Evaluate multiple attributes including size, color, tastes, flavors, and textures with a single test
- Simple and easy to design
- Can be used throughout the development process to optimize product attributes
- May need a large number of judges because of variation within consumer ratings
- Reformulation based on one attribute may change the ratings and acceptability of other attributes.
- Some consumers may have a hard time blending intensity ratings and liking scores.
- The use of Just About Right Tests, Just Right Tests, and Ideal Level Tests are controversial in the sensory world because of the blend of intensity and liking scores.
- As a general course guideline, 30-40 consumers within your target market would be acceptable. In a company setting, 100 consumers may be required (depending on product complexity).
- You may include demographic questions within your survey. Common questions include age, gender, and frequency of product usage. However, a “prefer not to reply” option should be included with every demographic question.
- Course standards do not allow for participants under the age of 18.
- Course standards require the use of 7-point JAR scales with too small, not nearly enough, too light, etc. being scaled on the left-hand portion of the scale and too large, much too much, too dark, etc. being scaled on the right-hand portion of the scale. Most often, category scales are used with a score of 4.0 representing Just-About-Right in the center of the scale.
- Include a scale for any and every attribute of interest including size, color, tastes, flavors, and textures.
- Faculty must approve your JAR Attribute Test before the sensory panel can be conducted.
- Analysis – summarize the frequency of responses within each of the categories on the 7-point scale.
- Seventy-five percent of scores must fall in the 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0 categories for the attribute to “pass” and be considered acceptable. Note: This is not calculating a mean by averaging all responses.
- Scale attributes that have less than 75% of 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0 scores need to be addressed. Reformulate your product to improve these attributes and then repeat JAR Attribute Testing as needed.