17 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.


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Food Product Development Lab Manual Copyright © 2021 by Kate Gilbert and Ken Prusa is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.