Understanding what the consumer wants and will accept are two of the most significant hurdles faced by anyone in new product development. Whether the concern is the proper mouth-feel of a potato chip, the sense of freshness' evoked by a chewing gum, or the weight and texture of a cosmetic, if the consumer doesn't find the product acceptable, it won't sell. Sensory evaluation testing is the process that establishes the consumer acceptability of a product. It can help identify issues before general production is begun and potentially bring to light issues that hadn't previously been considered a factor in the success of the project.
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Herbert Stone, Ph.D. is Senior Advisor & Co-Founder of Tragon Corporation where he served as President from 1974-2008. A former Director of Stanford Research Institute's (SRI) Food & Agricultural Sciences Department, Dr. Stone was President of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) from 2004-2005. With a Ph.D. from U.C. Davis, he has lectured worldwide, is the author of over 150 publications, and holds six patents. Dr. Stone founded Tragon® in 1974 with Joel L. Sidel. Dr. Stone serves as the Scientific Editor for the Sensory and Quality Section of the Journal of Food Science. He also serves on the Univ. of Massachusetts and UC Davis advisory boards and also serves as Adjunct Professor, Fuzhou University and Visiting Professor, Southern Yangtze University. He chairs the Sensory Science Scholarship Fund. He is the 2010 recipient of the ASTM E18 Peryam Award for contributions to the science of sensory evaluation.