How a panel leader to lead the panel to develop a sensory attribute on a product


We had found several problems for rookie panel leaders during our qualification interview for qualified panel leader.


  1. The ones with food science or dinning professionalism or senior technical folks will delve into which ingredient will create the sensory attribute and intend to use ingredient as the term for attribute. This kind intension will drive the whole panel into a non-necessary relationship between sensory attribute and ingredient. Sensory attribute is a description of the sensory perception by the panelist, which is not necessary caused by certain ingredient. Panel leader is not supposed to lead panelist with certain knowledge that common folks do not have.
  2. The ones that is junior or lack of experience will be over-modest or over-enforce attitude. Especially, for the sensory attribute mentioned by panelists which is out of the his/her own experience. They forgot that panel leader is just like a host to help the panelist to develop, introduce, categorize, induce the sensory attributes development based on the consensus among the panelists. You do not need to defeat or control the panelists. To help the panelist to find the consensus is the key.

The working code for the panel leader to deal with panelist include:

  1. There is no right or wrong for each response by each panelist.
  2. The response from each panelist should be equal.
  3. Keep reminding panelists that forget his/her own preference.
  4. The panelists will need your kindness and positive attitude, they are not against you.
  5. Thoufh there is no right or wrong for the panelist, it does not mean that you have to listen to the panelist for everything or even directed by the panelist. You can help them with your scientific and logic evidence.
  6. Let the panelist understand the code of panelist.