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ASTM E1697-05

Standard Test Method for Unipolar Magnitude Estimation of Sensory Attributes

1.1 This test method describes a procedure for the application of unipolar magnitude estimation to the evaluation of the magnitude of sensory attributes. The test method covers procedures for the training of panelists to produce magnitude estimations and statistical evaluation of the estimations.

1.2 Magnitude estimation is a psychophysical scaling technique in which panelists assign numeric values to the magnitude of an attribute. The only constraint placed upon the panelist is that the values assigned should conform to a ratio principle. For example, if the attribute seems twice as strong in sample B when compared to sample A, sample B should receive a value which is twice the value assigned to sample A.

1.3 The intensity of attributes such as pleasantness, sweetness, saltiness or softness can be evaluated using magnitude estimation.

1.4 Magnitude estimation may provide advantages over other scaling methods, particularly when the number of panelists and the time available for training are limited. With approximately 1 h of training, a panel of 15 to 20 naive individuals can produce data of adequate precision and reproducibility. Any additional training that may be required to ensure that the panelists can properly identify the attribute being evaluated is beyond the scope of this test method.

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