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Taxonomic free sorting: a successful method with older consumers and a novel approach to preference mapping

Withers, C., Methven, L., Qannari, E. M., Allen, V. J., Gosney, M. A. and MacFie, H. J. H. (2014) Taxonomic free sorting: a successful method with older consumers and a novel approach to preference mapping. Journal of Sensory Studies, 29 (3). pp. 182-189. ISSN 1745-459X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/joss.12093


Taxonomic free sorting (TFS) is a fast, reliable and new technique in sensory science. The method extends the typical free sorting task where stimuli are grouped according to similarities, by asking respondents to combine their groups two at a time to produce a hierarchy. Previously, TFS has been used for the visual assessment of packaging whereas this study extends the range of potential uses of the technique to incorporate full sensory analysis by the target consumer, which, when combined with hedonic liking scores, was used to generate a novel preference map. Furthermore, to fully evaluate the efficacy of using the sorting method, the technique was evaluated with a healthy older adult consumer group. Participants sorted eight products into groups and described their reason at each stage as they combined those groups, producing a consumer-specific vocabulary. This vocabulary was combined with hedonic data from a separate group of older adults, to give the external preference map. Taxonomic sorting is a simple, fast and effective method for use with older adults, and its combination with liking data can yield a preference map constructed entirely from target consumer data.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences > Human Nutrition Research Group
ID Code:36559

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