Sensory Quality

Introduction

XaRTA offers a comprehensive service in several of the stages required for the design and development of new aromas, flavors, textures, etc., in foods. We offer services for the following stages.

1. Identification of sensory descriptors

2. Obtención of ingredients or aromas and food development with desired sensory properties.

3. Assessment studies that include

  • Assessment of sensory characteristics of food
  • Studies on acceptance or consumer preference.

Identification of sensory descriptors

  • Development of validated analytical methodologies for the definition of sensory descriptors using advanced analytical methods (HPLC, GC …).
  • Identification of fast sensory descriptors for typing and quality assurance of food products
  • Determining differences in aromatic profile, etc., among products.
  • Validation of the denominations of origin.
  • Aroma Flavor Off-flavors Texture Color

    Volatile compoungs:

    • thiols
    • sulfides
    • TCA
    • pyrazines
    • phenols
    • aldehydes
    • alcohols

    Volatile and non-volatile flavor compounds

    • Maillard substances
    • accompanying flavors in wines
    • rancidity
    • sexual smell components of meat products
    • Structural proteins
    • structural lipids
    • estructural wall enzymes in fruits

    Pigments:

    • chlorophyl
    • carotenoids
    • anthocyanis

    Obtaininment and development

    Obtaininment and development of food at three levels: at laboratory,  and INDUSTRIAL scaling scale:

    a) Obtainment of sensory ingredients:

    • Extraction, purification and enrichment of aromas and flavors. Extraction without organic solvents and enrichment by solid phase microextraction (SPME),
    • Stir bar sorptive extraction (SBSE)
    • Design and development of new textures, flavors and aromas through the application of food technologies and the study of additives authorized for use in food.

    b) Development of food with desired sensory properties:

    • Formulation and stability studies, improvement essays. Adjustment in the formulations through the knowledge of authorized additives (aromas, flavors …).
    • Application of food tecnologies for processing, preservation and packaging to maintain the sensory characteristics of the products (volatile and nonvolatile components, texture, pigments …).

    Assesment studies

    1. Analytical assessment of sensory characteristics of the ingredient or food

    Advanced analysis methods
    • Chemical analysis of volatile and non-volatile compounds responsable for aroma, flavor and color.
    • Physical analysis of color, texture and rheology (firmness…).
    Automated non-invasive methods (sensors)
    • Electronic Nose, NIR. It emulates the response of a conventional panel of tasters to eliminate subjectivity.
    • Computed tomography. It studies the internal structures of all kinds of food.


    2. Sensory analysis through a trained panel

    Sensory analysis of various products
    • Design of the methodology for analysis
    • Panels of specialized tasters: fruits, meat, dairy, wines and cavas, oils…
    • Availability of sensory analysis laboratories.
    • Analysis and interpretation of results.
    Analysis of consumer behavior. Food marketing
    • Consumer studies (acceptability, preference, etc.). Panels of Spanish and European consumers are available.
    • Studies of distribution channels.