Analysing sensory panel performance in a proficiency test using the PanelCheck software

  • Oliver TomicEmail author
  • Giorgio Luciano
  • Asgeir Nilsen
  • Grethe Hyldig
  • Kirsten Lorensen
  • Tormod Næs
Original Paper


This paper discusses statistical methods and a workflow strategy for comparing performance across multiple sensory panels that participated in a proficiency test (also referred to as inter laboratory test). Performance comparison and analysis are based on a data set collected from 26 sensory panels carrying out profiling on the same set of candy samples. The candy samples were produced according to an experimental design using design factors, such as sugar, and acid level. Because of the exceptionally large amount of data and the availability of multiple statistical and graphical tools in the PanelCheck software, a workflow is proposed that guides the user through the data analysis process. This allows practitioners and non-statisticians to get an overview over panel performances in a rapid manner without the need to be familiar with details on the statistical methods. Visualisation of data analysis results plays an important role as this provides a time saving and efficient way of screening and investigating sensory panel performances. Most of the statistical methods used in this paper are available in the open source software PanelCheck, which may be downloaded and used for free.


Proficiency test Inter laboratory test Sensory profiling Performance visualisation PanelCheck 



Thanks to Rikke Lazarotti at LEAF Denmark for production of wine gum samples and providing access to the sensory profiling data. We would like to thank the Research Council of Norway (project number 168152/110), The Foundation for Research Levy on Agricultural Products (Norway) and The Danish Food Industry Agency for project funding.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oliver Tomic
    • 1
    Email author
  • Giorgio Luciano
    • 1
  • Asgeir Nilsen
    • 1
  • Grethe Hyldig
    • 2
  • Kirsten Lorensen
    • 3
  • Tormod Næs
    • 1
  1. 1.Nofima Mat ASÅsNorway
  2. 2.DTU Aqua, National Institute of Aquatic ResourcesTechnical University of DenmarkLyngbyDenmark
  3. 3.Chew Tech I/SVejleDenmark

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