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J Food Sci. 2016 May;81(5):S1263-71. doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.13301. Epub 2016 Apr 18.

Replication Improves Sorting-Task Results Analyzed by DISTATIS in a Consumer Study of American Bourbon and Rye Whiskeys.

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Dept. of Culinary Arts and Food Science, Drexel Univ, Philadelphia, Pa., 19103, U.S.A.
Viticulture and Enology Program, Washington State Univ, Richland, Wash. 99354, U.S.A.
Dept. of Viticulture and Enology, Univ. of California-Davis, Davis, Calif., 95616,, U.S.A.


In consumer food-sensory studies, sorting and closely related methods (for example, projective mapping) have often been applied to large product sets which are complex and fatiguing for panelists. Analysis of sorting by Multi-Dimensional Scaling (MDS) is common, but this method discards relevant individual decisions; analysis by DISTATIS, which accounts for individual differences, is gaining acceptance. This research posits that replication can improve DISTATIS analysis by stabilizing consumer sensory maps, which are often extremely unstable. As a case study a fatiguing product set was sorted: 10 American whiskeys-5 bourbons and 5 ryes-were sorted into groups by 21 consumers over 2 replications. These products were chosen because American whiskeys are some of the most important distilled beverages in today's market; in particular, "bourbon" (mashbill more than 50% corn) and "rye" (more than 50% rye) whiskeys are important and assumed to be products with distinct sensory attributes. However, there is almost no scientific information about their sensory properties. Data were analyzed using standard and aggregated DISTATIS and MDS. No significant relationship between mashbill and consumer categorization in whiskeys was found; instead, there was evidence of producer and aging effects. aggregated DISTATIS was found to provide more stable results than without replication, and DISTATIS results provided a number of benefits over MDS, including bootstrapped confidence intervals for product separation. In addition, this is the first published evidence that mashbill does not determine sensory properties of American whiskey: bourbons and ryes, while legally distinct, were not separated by consumers.


DISTATIS; MDS; PCA; alcohol; consumer; sensory analysis; sensory evaluation; statistics

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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