Technical quality panel assessment is a qualitative test that provides food and beverage producers with detailed information regarding the sensory properties of their products. With particular focus on off-flavours and taints, the results from an assessment provide an independent, dispassionate indication of a product’s sensory characteristics. The assessment is carried out under controlled conditions following methods defined in Australian Standards. When required, two or more samples can also be compared.


Our sensory scientists all hold a diploma in Applied Sensory and Consumer Science from the University of California, Davis. They are highly experienced in all aspects of statistical analysis and experimental design and work with producers to tailor assessments to meet client objectives.

Affinity Labs’ technical quality panel has years of experience in the identification of faults and taints. A minimum number of assessors is required, all of whom have technical product knowledge and have completed advanced screening, training and performance evaluation on fault and taint assessment. It is important to note that assessment of quality is subjective and depends on each person’s physiology, background, experience and style preference.

Our state-of-the-art sensory laboratory is equipped to ISO standards with individual sensory booths to ensure a suitable environment for assessments. Separate panel and meeting rooms allow for in-depth discussion of products with assessors. The laboratory uses data acquisition software for flexible set-up of tests and collection of data.


Due to the qualitative, unreplicated nature of technical quality panel assessment, meaning is drawn from interpretation of individual judge responses rather than statistical analysis of the results. For example, if several assessors note the same taint or fault, the assessment provides evidence that the product is affected, even if several other assessors consider the product to be free of defects.

The result of this assessment gives food and beverage producers confidence in their product’s sensory characteristics.

Technical quality panel assessment is often undertaken in conjunction with trace analysis for known taint and fault compounds.

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