Qualifying a New Supplier

One of the most common uses of sensory research is qualifying a new supplier. Particularly now, when your current supplier may be struggling to keep up with demand, supplier qualification leveraging sensory research may be critical.

Here’s a case study in which our client was qualifying a new supplier of mustard oil, a key ingredient in their product.


Our client was looking to qualify an alternate supplier of mustard oil. We needed to determine if a sensory difference exists between the current product and a prototype made with the alternate supplier’s mustard oil.


Using two samples – the Current Product and the Prototype – we conducted a Discrimination Test (2-AFC with Reference). The products were placed with 36 panelists at our facility in Harrison, NY.  Sessions were held in the sensory booths, and data was analyzed at 90% confidence level for a two-sided 2-AFC test.


We learned that there were no significant differences between the Control and the Alternate Supplier’s prototype and it was recommended to move forward with the new supplier. Here’s an example of the data we presented:

Our client was pleased that they could move forward with confidence.


Ingredient qualifications are one of our key service areas – whether it is for a new supplier, a cost reduction or – as is very common these days – an enhanced health or nutritional benefit.

And our panel is working remotely, so we can conduct your research at any time. Please reach out for more information on how we can help.

Comments are closed.