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CDR Sensory Services offers companies the opportunity to identify key appearance, texture, and flavor attributes that drive consumer preferences while providing further analysis and troubleshooting assistance through collaboration with the other CDR program areas. We can also provide photos of products to help further in characterizing the attributes.

Sensory testing can also be conducted in conjunction with (analytical) chemical analyses to generate a full picture of the product, including instrumental texture/rheology, microstructure, free fatty acid or volatile analyses.

CDR Sensory Tests

Expert Screening

CDR dairy product experts, many of whom have judged at national and international competitions, will evaluate your product to generate key insights. Thanks to their advanced expertise and years of experience in judging, they can also help you in troubleshooting, identifying defects and suggesting areas of improvement for various products.

  • Expert opinion
  • Qualitative feedback
  • Can produce a report with pictures
Descriptive Panels

Descriptive sensory analysis offers a statistically robust method of identifying key attributes of a product or monitoring their changes over time. This is done using panelists who have been extensively trained to detect and quantify appearance, flavor and texture attributes in a repeatable manner.

  • Quantitative descriptive analysis
  • Qualitative descriptive profiling
  • Product comparison
  • Product mapping
  • Changes during shelf life/ripening
  • Can produce a detailed statistical report with pictures
Consumer Evaluation

Consumer panels are conducted in our newly constructed CDR addition to Babcock Hall on the UW-Madison campus. Studies can be conducted in various formats including central location test (CLT) in our 6 new sensory booths, focus groups, or in home use tests (IHUT). Data is collected with the end goal of measuring preferences, degree of liking (hedonics) or consumer acceptance. Test are conducted using our diverse panelist database of over 2000 individuals.

A wide variety of products can be evaluated including products that don't contain dairy. General lead time involves 1 month of preparation and a detail report is provided with 10 business days.

  • Preference and ranking
  • Product liking and acceptance
  • Just about right scales (JAR)
  • Early product testing/product development
  • Qualitative product evaluation
  • Can produce a detailed statistical report
Functionality Testing

Our expert judges or trained panelists are also able to test cheese performance including shredding, melting, slicing and cooking applications. Both trained panelists (descriptive) and expert panels (screening) are available to evaluate products, depending on the outcome and feedback you desire.

  • Descriptive functionality
  • Screening functionality
  • Can produce a detailed report with pictures
Difference Testing

Testing to identify whether a difference exist between two products or not. Can investigate whether two products are similar or they are different from one another. Can also evaluate multiple products to determine degrees of difference from a control.

  • Triangle test
  • Tetrad test
  • Difference from Control (DFC) / Degree of Difference (DOD)
  • A / not A
  • Duo-trio

Leverage CDR expertise to train employees and or panelists on various sensory best practices and methodologies. Can include comprehensive custom sensory courses on dairy attributes and defects as well as other topics.

  • Training at CDR facility
  • Training on-site at your facility

Each test has different requirement and costs associated. If you are interested in a quote contact Brandon Prochaska, Sensory Coordinator

Sensory Services Video

Sensory Resources

From the cheese flavor wheel to texture training – Learn more about sensory science.

Interested in Being a Consumer Sensory Panelist?

CDR is looking for people to serve as Consumer Sensory Panelists.

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Sensory Services Contact


Brandon Prochaska

Sensory Coordinator