Using a trained panel to identify sensory changes in infant formula during shelf-life.

Descriptive analysis case study


Our client wanted a complex understanding of changes to the sensory profile of infant formula when stored under different conditions (E.g. temperature and humidity) for varying lengths of time. It was important to the client to understand the sensory changes of the product during transit, which would help enable data-driven business decisions surrounding exportation for international markets.



Trained Descriptive Panel

Descriptive analysis uses subjects as analytical instruments to quantify the perceived intensities of sensory characteristics of infant formula.

CASS utilised our trained panel to answer the clients question of “what, if any, undesirable and discernible changes occurs in infant formula during storage when stored under different conditions and varying lengths of time”. The following steps were followed in order to develop a group of highly trained panellists:

  • Panellist recruitment – Panellist were recruited based on their sensory acuity.
  • Terminology development – Panellist developed a lexicon to describe the flavours of infant formula.
  • Training – Panellists underwent an intensive training period where they were calibrated to perform in the same
    way, using the same scale.
  • Practice Evaluation – A practice evaluation occurred to ensure consistency and reliability of panellists.
  • Product Evaluation – Panellist evaluated samples in isolated sensory booths.


  • Flavour profile of infant formula.The “gold standard” methodology utilised resulted in:
  • Identification of changes in flavour and texture during storage allowing for modified storage conditions.
  • Identification of targeted export to meet consumer needs.
  • Understanding differences in infant formula quality between Australian and international competitors.
  • Understanding any undesirable sensory changes that may occur during transit of the product.

Sensory evaluation publication highlights

A fatty acid mouth rinse decreases self-reported hunger and increases self-reported fullness in healthy Australian adults: A randomized cross-over trial

A Costanzo, C Russell, S Lewin, R Keast
(2020), Vol. 12, pp. 1-13, Nutrients, Basel, Switzerland, C1

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A low-fat diet up-regulates expression of fatty acid taste receptor gene FFAR4 in fungiform papillae in humans: a co-twin randomised controlled trial

A Costanzo, D Liu, C Nowson, K Duesing, N Archer, S Bowe, R Keast
(2019), Vol. 122, pp. 1212-1220, British journal of nutrition, Cambridge, Eng., C1

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Acute effect of sorghum flour-containing pasta on plasma total polyphenols, antioxidant capacity and oxidative stress markers in healthy subjects: a randomised controlled trial

I Khan, A Yousif, S Johnson, S Gamlath
(2015), Vol. 34, pp. 415-421, Clinical nutrition, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

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Carbohydrate Taste Is Associated with Food Intake and Body Mass in Healthy Australian Adults

Costanzo A, Settapramote N, Utama-Ang N, Wanich U, Lewin S, Keast R. Carbohydrate Taste Is Associated with Food Intake and Body Mass in Healthy Australian Adults. Nutrients. 2021 Oct 28;13(11):3844. doi: 10.3390/nu13113844.

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Consumer Acceptance of Brown and White Rice Varieties

Gondal, T.A.; Keast, R.S.J.; Shellie, R.A.; Jadhav, S.R.; Gamlath, S.; Mohebbi, M.; Liem, D.G. Consumer Acceptance of Brown and White Rice Varieties. Foods 2021, 10, 1950. foods10081950

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