Panel testing typically involves groups of 10 to 30 consumers, who will individually assess, appraise or use the test package or product whilst under controlled conditions or following appropriate instruction.
Subjective assessments are based on discernible differences amongst a set of samples, where panellists are typically asked to rate or rank samples based on a particular feature such as the appearance of a defect or the ease of use of selected products.
Subjective evaluations can be used to compliment other objective testing by allowing correlations to be made between qualitative and quantitative assessments.
Smithers Pira also perform panel tests to measure characteristics associated with consumer use. These can range from the measurement of force, torque or speed associated with a user opening a pack or using a product, to determining the weight or volume of product typically dispensed during use. Typically tests involve measuring forces associated with manual handling, or the validation of measuring devices used to administer a specific dose volume.
Benefits of Panel Testing:
- Can be used to determine or validate design specifications
- Enables comparative ranking of test samples
- Can be used to support objective test results
- Provides independent customer opinions
- Indicative of ‘real life’ use
- Evaluates performed under controlled conditions - lighting, temperature and humidity