NFOB15008U Sensory Evaluation of Food

Volume 2019/2020

BSc Programme in Food and Nutrition

DTU diplomingeniør i fødevaresikkerhed og -kvalitet


Sensory science is a discipline that uses humans and their senses to measure and evaluate products or other sensory stimuli in an objective or personal manner. The course introduces the field of sensory science as it relates to food and nutritional sciences. Different aspects on how to evoke, measure and evaluate sensory properties of foods are presented within a framework of different methodological approaches.

Special focus will be on basic sensory evaluation methods (discrimination, descriptive, temporal, etc.), factors influencing sensory judgments, common laboratory practices (planning, sample order presentations, response scales, etc.) and panels (recruitment, selection and training) as well as data analysis. Relationships between sensory measures (visual, flavour and texture) and instrumental analyses (physical and chemical) will be presented in relation to validity and predictive capability in food quality control as well as shelf life testing. The wider implications of changing sensory properties of foods for consumer preferences and behaviour are briefly introduced.

The student will be trained in making appropriate choices of methods and data analysis for different situations, e.g. within food production, quality control and product development.

Learning Outcome

After completing the course, the student should be able to:


  • Knowledge on the scope, implications and background of the field of sensory science
  • Basic understanding of the common five senses and how they can interact
  • Knowledge on the elementary concepts and terminology used in sensory science
  • Knowledge on basic data analytical approaches to assess sensory data
  • Knowledge on factors influencing the validity of sensory judgements and practices
  • Knowledge on how to train a panel
  • Knowledge on how to run a sensory laboratory



  • Ability to assess the ethical and other requirements for carrying out sensory tests
  • Ability to select assessors for an analytical sensory panel
  • Ability to manage a sensory panel
  • Ability to set up and perform basic sensory tests in a scientifically valid way
  • Ability to analyse and interpret the sensory data



  • Reflect on the basic sensory methods and their appropriate application for the question at stake
  • Reflect on product quality as measured by the senses and instruments
  • Reflect on role of sensory properties in a broader consumer and food behavioural context
  • Reflect on the ethical implications of running sensory tests with humans
  • Ability to make correct methodological choices and handling for different analytical sensory purposes
  • Respond to safety requirements and secure handling of personal data in sensory science

See Absalon for a list of course literature.


Lectures, interactive discussions, theoretical exercises based on real-life cases from research and industry, interactive demonstrations and practical exercises.
For the data analysis in this course you need a laptop with Windows based operating system.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Colloquia
  • 5
  • Exam
  • 2
  • Lectures
  • 50
  • Practical exercises
  • 15
  • Preparation
  • 117
  • Theory exercises
  • 17
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 2 hours under invigilation
The entire exam consists of multiple choice questions.
The course has been selected for ITX exam on Peter Bangs Vej.
Exam registration requirements

Approval of minimum 80 % of all exercise assignments (hand ins on Absalon).

All aids allowed

The University will make computers and power available to students taking written exams with invigilation in the University’s building on Peter Bangs Vej 36 (ITX). Students are therefore not permitted to bring their own computers, tablets or mobile phones. If textbooks and/or notes are permitted, according to the course description, these must be in paper format or on a USB flash drive.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners

Same as ordinary exam, but if 10 or fewer have registered for the re-exam, it will be oral. 20 minutes per student in the course curriculum, no preparation time, all aids allowed. Possibility to re-submit exercise assignments two weeks prior to the re-exam.

Criteria for exam assesment

See Learning Outcome