One of the main characteristics of a sensory analysis testing facility is insulation. It is essential for the judges to be able to focus on the sensory characteristics of the product without being distracted or influenced by the external environment.
The noise of a bottling machine or the smell of milk that permeates the premises of a dairy factory can irreparably compromise the result of the analysis. It is a good idea to take all precautions so that the judge is not distracted by the presence of external sensory stimuli.
This is why it is advisable to carry out the tests in rooms far from any production areas or sufficiently isolated from them, in which noises, smells or other stimuli are eliminated or mitigated to the maximum. In order to solve permanently the presence of unwanted odours, for example, the most advanced laboratories maintain a constant positive air pressure inside the rooms dedicated to the evaluation, so as to prevent the entry of odours (volatile molecules) from the adjacent rooms.
Evaluation sessions normally imply that the judge works alone. Here, it is essential that the single judge is not influenced/disturbed by the evaluations of the other panellists. This is achieved through the sensory booths or cabins. Sensory booths are closed or semi-closed cubicles fitted with a desk, a chair, lights and other items designed to offer a neutral environment in which perform sensory analysis. The samples can be introduced in the booth through a sliding window in front of the desk, communicating with the kitchen or preparation space.
Sensory booth can be expensive or there may not be a dedicated space available in the premises. In these cases, the use dividing panels that can be mounted on a table, or to arrange the judges in such a way as to reduce their interactions as much as possible.