One of the major concerns of food producers is to avoid consumer claims by applying strict controls on products. Since customer complaints can involve sensory aspects such as taste or flavor, sensory features have an important part among the different parameters under scrutiny. Indeed, consumers expect a consistent taste and flavor in their favourite products, and can be rapidly dissatisfied if they perceive even a slight difference.
Alpha MOS laboratory has worked with several food and beverage manufacturers, to help them explain the cause of consumer claims. The tests consist of comparing a claimed product to a good batch of reference quality. The analyses often involve the HERACLES electronic nose, which has the particularity to not only compare the overall flavor profile of products, but also to be able to characterize the volatile compounds that could be responsible for defects such as unpleasant off-odors or off-tastes.
Upon investigating the volatile compounds specific to a sensory fault, we help the producers track the possible origin of the defect, be it a bad ingredient, a foreign compound, improper storage conditions or packaging.
Thus, the food manufacturers have reliable proof and certificated answers to better address their customers expectations and handle consumer claims. Meanwhile they can improve their quality assurance system through a better knowledge of their products and processes, and can make significant savings by reducing consumer claims and product recalls.