Train, Improve, Maintain

with a FlavorActiV Proficiency Scheme

FlavorActiV’s Sensory Proficiency service 'Taster Validation' helps beverage producers maintain excellence in sensory panels and improve beverage quality. Sensory proficiency is known under many names in different beverage sectors; validation, calibration and proficiency, but all of these have a single purpose;

The idea is simple; blind tasting packs are sent out to sensory panels around the world at specified times, used to assess and train panels abilities through a series of different tests. Panel leaders then update the results, and immediately are presented with a detailed breakdown of individual and panel performance across the entire organisation. The data can be broken down and presented in a multitude of ways, using the detailed demographic information stored on every taster to increase understanding and learning. Quick and easy to use, but an incredibly powerful tool to understanding what is needed to maintain the quality of tasters, and the end products that customers see.

Today it is used by many of the largest beverage companies and breweries in the world, and ensures sensory panels are performing to the best of their abilities. More than 3,000 sensory panels are enrolled, with a total of more than 50,000 sensory participants, meaning it is the biggest such programme in the world and the only one to use pharmaceutical grade GMP Flavour Standards.

After the initial investment of training, maintaining peak performance in a quick and convenient way will ensure beverage quality remains high. Taster Validation is an advanced programme that is designed for professional sensory panels, either within a single organisation or across multiple.

Measuring results and improving standards

The programme is flexible and tailorable depending on individual needs and desired outcomes. There are three tests to support continued training:

→ Flavour Identification – test ability to identify flavours
→ IN/OUT – test ability to identify defects outside of product quality specification
→ Rank Rating – test ability to scale the intensity of flavours

The benefits are numerous, here are just some of them:

→ Validating sensory panels to confirm performance, thereby reducing risk of undesirable product release
→ Comprehensive feedback from across whole organisation
→ Focused training means a reduction in costs by tailoring specialised training programmes to each and every panel and panellist
→ Panels and individuals learn their strengths and weaknesses and can hone skills accordingly
→ Training encourages staff retention and is attractive to new talent
→ Training across an organisation improves staff loyalty and product awareness

"Easy to understand and visually accessible, these tools provide large amounts of contextual data quickly and efficiently – even with complex data such as flavour scaling."

The process of proficiency

➜ At regular intervals determined by the customer, a proficiency testing Taster Validation pack will be sent out to all sites containing all of the tools needed to test and validate a sensory panel.

➜ All customers are assigned an appropriate Global Sensory Manager (in terms of location and languages spoken) who will provide additional guidance and follow up training as required.

➜ Each Taster Validation Packs provides everything required to run a sensory session:

➜ GMP Taster Validation Flavour Standards in blind colour coded capsules

➜ Easy-to-use, multilingual, internet-based software for data entry, result processing and feedback of your results

➜ Answer sheets in a number of languages

➜ Labels and stickers to mark materials used in a tasting session

Gathering and interpreting data

The Taster Validation and Proficiency programme allows the analysis of tasting data from a single sensory panellist through to the evaluation of an entire company with only a few clicks. Automatically generated reports allow panel leaders to quickly compare and rate performance against other panels.

Easy to understand and visually accessible, these tools provide large amounts of contextual data quickly and efficiently – even with complex data such as flavour scaling.

Above are only a few examples of how the system reports sensory panel performance. A number of unique and effective tools have been implemented to help customers fully understand results and required actions.

The Taster Validation and Proficiency programme also supports independent and artisan producers to help them assess sensory panel performance. In this scheme participant panels within a similar industry are able to compare performance anonymously against other panels, providing the same sensory feedback and other benefits, but on a smaller scale to the multinationals.

Taster Validation and Proficiency technical specifications

Built to software industry standards using the latest systems and securely encrypted at site and during transmission to keep your data safe on-line and offline, the FlavorActiV Taster Validation and Proficiency programme is developed with assessors and taste panel leaders in mind. Easy, intuitive and fast, tasters will spend more time tasting products than analysing data or fighting with software options and configurations.

The programme is entirely web based so there is no need to install apps or worry about system integration. The software is fully compatible with legacy browsers as well as modern systems.

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