Sensory analysisStudying the role of ingredients in a formula’s sensory profile
Sensory tests demonstrate, characterize and scientifically measure the influence of Seppic ingredients on the sensory signature of formulations.
The organoleptic characteristics of a product, perceived by the five senses ー sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch ー constitute the first benefits felt by users: the specific touch of a cosmetic cream, the taste of a dietary supplement, or the characteristic color of a drug in tablet form.
Sensory analysis for the topical route
In cosmetics and dermopharmacy, qualified, trained or expert panels conduct qualitative or quantitative sensory evaluations according to a predefined protocol and descriptors adapted to the universe of formulations to be tested. With cleaning product, for example, this might be the volume of foam and its density. In dermopharmacy, the sensory qualities of the formula contribute to patient comfort and therapeutic adherence.
Two internal expert panels
At Seppic, two expert panels follow specific and regular training in the cabin. These are conducted blind and under standardized conditions in order to guarantee the reliability of the results. The first panel is dedicated to skin care products, generally tested on the back of the hand or forearm. The second focuses on hair care products with evaluations on natural hair strands or those representative of damaged hair, allowing for better perception of the effects.
Recognized and innovative evaluation methods
The products are coded and presented in a neutral manner. The evaluation methods follow the international, European or French standards in force, or innovative methodologies covered in scientific publications, with discriminative tests – triangular testing, classification by comparison of different products, Pivot © ー comparison of a product with a pivotal formula ー or descriptive. The order of tests, the acquisition, and the statistical analysis of the results are managed using specialized software.
Additional tests by business experts and consumers
The sensory evaluations conducted by qualified, trained and expert panels can be supplemented by tests with business experts, for example a hairdresser for hair products.
As one example, Seppic evaluated a conditioning product containing Emosmart™ V21 to demonstrate its ability to provide a feel, softness and shine of the hair equivalent to that obtained with a silicone oil.
Sensory evaluations are also conducted with consumers to understand their preferences or measure the emotions triggered when using the products.
For instance, studies were conducted to identify the preferred textures associated with the highest emotional potential (study of preferences among 100 consumers, then emotional scoring with 30 consumers) among 10 formulas of neutral white emulsions, with the same neutral fragrance and without packaging. Emotions were assessed under the supervision of a neuroscience expert by collecting participants' verbal expression verbatim, and analyzing their non-verbal reactions during the use of emulsions, such as voice and gestures. The results helped identify Geltrap™ as the preferred texture, and one that triggers the most intense positive emotion.
Sensory analysis for the oral route
In the field of dietary supplements or pharmaceuticals, sensory evaluations are conducted to demonstrate, for example, the effectiveness of a film coating on tablets to mask the bitter taste of an active ingredient.
In a recent search for alternative solutions to the use of titanium dioxide for the white film coating of dietary supplements, Seppic conducted a visual test in parallel with physico-chemical measurements to evaluate the effectiveness of a new white film-coating agent, Sepifilm™ White TF. Herbal food supplements often have a colored or speckled appearance, which is difficult to cover. The capacity of Sepifilm™ White TF to provide a homogeneous white film that properly covers the surface and edges of the tablets was assessed by a panel of experts compared against titanium dioxide.