A Model for Sensory Analysis of Foods and Beverages: Bounded Rationality, Atributes and Perceptions in Coffee and Meat

  • Mirella Cais Jejcic de Oliveira
  • Eduardo Eugênio Spers
  • Hermes Moretti Ribeiro da Silva
  • Renata Pozelli Sabio
  • Juliana Chini
Palavras-chave: Sensory Analysis, Food, Consumer, Perceptions, Attributes.


This research is based on the behavior and perception regarding one food and one beverage. According to the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFT), sensory analysis is a discipline used to measure, analyze, and interpret the reactions produced by the attributes of foods and ingredients. It is the result from the perception based on smell, taste, touch and hearing, which are related to color, shape, size, visual texture and odor of foods. Psychologists refer to sensory perception as a process with three phases: reception stimulation, perception and information processing (Chen, 2014). Our "machine" of sensory analysis is structure by our sensory systems: olfactory, gustatory, tactile, auditory and visual. These systems measure the attributes of foods based on their sensory properties (Anzaldua-Morales, 1994). According to the Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas (Abnt), odor is a sensory olfactory organ stimulated when certain volatile substances are inhaled (Abnt, 1993). This evaluation begins with a short introduction to the bottom of the food studies by oral processing followed by a detailed discussion of some important principles that underpin the food and sensory perception (Chen, 2009 & Foster, et al., 2012). Food possesses characteristic that are recognized by previous experience of the consumer when they are eaten or prepared; mainly associated to food texture (Huy, 1992). There is a need for an effort to review some important developments and achievements in this field. Many previous studies have explored and selected aspects of the choice of foods from a wide variety of disciplines and perspectives (Booth, 1994). Pioneering work of Lewin (1951) proposed that several specific reference frameworks are involved in choice of foods: taste, health, social status and cost. Later investigations have examined these and other values, with a focus on cognitive and motivational factors involved in choosing food (Rappoport et al., 1993). Surveys of eating habits presented several models of prominent factors, influences and eating patterns to develop a comprehensive picture of the food choice process (Parraga, 1990). A constructionist approach allows a rich expression of how people get involved in the food choice process, through the incorporation of meanings and understandings that they create in their negotiations of choice, including elicitation of the reach and strength of the factors affecting the choice of food (Berger & Luckman, 1966). To develop this research the questionnaire was based on Furst, et. al. model proposed in 1996 (Furst, et al., 1996). A documentary research and some interviews with specialists help to identify the main sensory attributes of coffee and meat. According to Furst et al. (1996) a basic and universal factor that provides the foundation for food choices is the life course, which includes influences from past personal and historical experiences, the current participation in trends and transitions and anticipations of future events. Life course provides guidance for food choices through past, present and future roles and experiences. Thus, it is the underlying source that many factors shape the choice of food. By in-depth interview with 20 consumers of coffee and 20 consumers of meat some improvements in the previous Furst et. al. model were proposed. The methodology was an research conducted in the Marketing Lab. Using different levels of sensory attributes both consumers of coffee and meat were separated in two groups of 8 consumers and interviewed based on focus group and individually. Results identify some differences and similarities between coffee and meat consumer behavior. The findings suggest that sensory analysis helps to explain some aspects of bounded rationality in food consumption, evaluation and perception and could improve the previous Furst et. al. model.