Sensory Evaluation of Food

Course content

Meet the fascinating world of Sensory Science, where humans are the ultimate instruments to experience and evaluate food quality. We will take you on a journey to learn about the senses, how to use them to perform sensory evaluation of foods, how to choose between different sensory methods and panels, and how to analyse sensory data in a meaningful way.

You will learn about general principles of sensory measurements (discrimination, ranking and scaling), pitfalls in sensory evaluation (carry-over effects, response biases, etc.) and how to deal with them in experimental settings. Special attention will be on performing difference tests, descriptive profiling and consumer acceptance tests, the challenges in the sensory laboratory and working with sensory panels, as well as data analysis (e.g. checking panel performance and product differences). We will also look how to relate descriptive data with instrumental analyses of foods and emerging tools for descriptive analysis (e.g. machine learning applications). Finally, we will introduce the wider implications of changing sensory quality for food reward and nutrition behaviour.

Besides lectures you take part in hands-on sensory exercises where you learn about your own senses, and work in groups on different methods for sensory evaluation. We will arrange “dry” exercises to work with course materials and sensory data to get confident in applying your sensory skills.


BSc Programme in Food and Nutrition

DTU diplomingeniør i fødevaresikkerhed og -kvalitet

Learning outcome

After completing the course, the student should be able to:


  • Knowledge on the scope, implications and background of the field of sensory science
  • Basic understanding of the common five senses and how they can interact
  • Knowledge on the elementary concepts and terminology used in sensory science
  • Knowledge on basic data analytical approaches to assess sensory data
  • Knowledge on factors influencing the validity of sensory judgements and practices
  • Knowledge on how to train a panel
  • Knowledge on how to run a sensory laboratory



  • Ability to assess the ethical, GDPR regulations and other requirements for carrying out sensory tests
  • Ability to select assessors for an analytical sensory panel
  • Ability to manage a sensory panel
  • Ability to set up and perform basic sensory tests in a scientifically valid way
  • Ability to analyse and interpret the sensory data using appropriate data analysis methods



  • Reflect on the basic sensory methods and their appropriate application for the question at stake
  • Reflect on product quality as measured by the senses and instruments
  • Reflect on role of sensory properties in a broader consumer and food behavioural context
  • Reflect on the ethical implications of running sensory tests with humans
  • Ability to make correct methodological choices and handling for different analytical sensory purposes
  • Respond to safety requirements in sensory experiments
  • Respond to secure handling of personal data in sensory science

Lectures, interactive discussions, practical exercises, theoretical exercises, real-life cases from research and industry, interactive demonstrations, Q&A sessions and E-learning.

See Absalon for a list of course literature.


For the data analysis in this course you need a laptop with Windows based operating system.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
On-site written exam, 2 hours under invigilation
Type of assessment details
The entire exam consists of multiple choice questions.
Exam registration requirements

Participation in minimum 80 % of  the exercises.

All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners

Same as ordinary exam, but if 10 or fewer have registered for the re-exam, it will be oral. 20 minutes per student in the course curriculum, no preparation time, all aids allowed.

If the obligatory 80 % attendance in the original course cannot be met, an individual track fulfilling the same learning goals must be arranged with the course responsible no later than one month before the re-exam. 

Criteria for exam assessment

See Learning Outcome

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 50
  • Preparation
  • 101
  • Theory exercises
  • 22
  • Practical exercises
  • 25
  • E-Learning
  • 6
  • Exam
  • 2
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level

1 block

Block 3
No limitation – unless you register in the late-registration period (BSc and MSc) or as a credit or single subject student.
Study Board of Food, Human Nutrition and Sports
Contracting department
  • Department of Food Science
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinators
  • Wender Bredie   (2-86714f757e7e733d7a843d737a)
    (Main responsible)
  • Qian Janice Wang   (3-817a8750767f7f743e7b853e747b)
  • Bodil Helene Allesen-Holm   (4-7379727951778080753f7c863f757c)
    (Course coordinator)
Saved on the 14-02-2024

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students