Novel drive-in sensory test booth has implications outside pandemic conditions
The pandemic halted many research projects, including sensory tests that required panelist participation. Researchers at the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station developed a drive-in booth method to use as an alternative to indoor sensory testing.
The panelists’ engagement, safety and realism responses were examined, and no significant differences were found between the drive-in and indoor booths after the tests. Many participants also reported feeling safer from the COVID-19 virus while participating in the drive-in booth compared to the laboratory environment.
Sensory testing is an imperative part of product development. It gives sensory scientists and companies important information on how a product is perceived. The drive-in booth testing method provided a safe, sustainable sensory testing method during pandemic conditions without altering panelists’ evaluations. The method is also applicable outside pandemic and epidemic concerns. This presents an opportunity for implementing the method in places that might not have access to a sensory testing building, like a smaller college or university that wants to conduct sensory studies. Companies are also interested in more realistic testing environments, and the drive-in booth may provide another option.
Link to full statement on website: http://landgrantimpacts.tamu.edu/impacts/show/6181