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Survival analysis to estimate sensory shelf life using acceptability scores

Gimenez, Ana, Ares, Gaston, Gambaro, Adriana
Journal of sensory studies 2008 v.23 no.5 pp. 571-582
breads, consumer acceptance, risk, sensory evaluation, shelf life
In the present study, survival analysis was applied on consumers' acceptability scores, focusing the shelf-life risk on the consumers disliking the product. Shelf life was estimated as the time necessary to reach a fixed percentage of consumers disliking the product, that is, the percentage of consumers scoring the product's overall acceptability below 6 in a 9-point hedonic scale. In the present work, this methodology was applied to estimate the sensory shelf life of whole pan bread and alfajores. Shelf lives estimated considering 50% of the consumers disliking the product were shorter than those estimated considering consumers' rejection to consume. These results suggest that a proportion of consumers might dislike the sample but still answer "yes" when asked if they would consume the product at their homes. This could be attributed to the fact that when consumers are asked whether they would consume the product, they might think about consuming it after being stored at their homes. In this situation, consumers might be more tolerant toward sensory defects because they do not want to discard the product. Sensory shelf life can be estimated using survival analysis considering the percentage of consumers disliking the product. This methodology seems to be a conservative criterion in order to assure the product's quality throughout its storage.