Close Menu
Scott with Student

Sensory Analysis Laboratory

Since 1975, the Sensory Analysis Laboratory has provided sensory evaluation services to both industry and university researchers, and been involved in various types of research projects of food products.

Located in Babcock Hall on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Sensory Analysis Laboratory has:

  • A diverse pool of panelists readily available for participation in sensory panels.
  • Consumer preference evaluations conducted at the Dairy Products Salesroom, UW-Madison.
  • Proximity to the Food Science Department allows sensory analysis data to be integrated with the problem-solving facilities of a gas and high-performance liquid chromatography laboratory. Integration of these services to form mini-research projects is available.

What is Consumer and Sensory Testing About?

A person’s sense of taste, smell, touch, sound and sight from their perception of food. In a taste panel, these senses can be measured scientifically to obtain information about particular aspects of a food. Difference testing determines if samples are perceived to be different, while the consumer preference testing determines product acceptability utilizing untrained consumers.

When conducting a taste panel, food is uniformly prepared and presented to panelists in isolated booths. They record evaluations of the product on a ballot which is decoded and analyzed by statistical procedures. A full comprehensive report is available one week after the test, including interpretive findings based on data.

Our Facilities

  • Isolated taste panel booths.
  • Variable lighting conditions.
  • Equipment for the preparations and service of a wide variety of food products.
  • Charges for services offered are calculated on a cost-recovery basis and are extremely competitive. Collected fees go back to the Food Science Department supporting student programs and research.
mint leaves float in a liquid ice-cream mix

Get in touch with us.

We look forward to working with you on your testing plans and needs.

Contact Scott Rankin to discuss test planning and project needs.