Sensory science theory and applications in foods

Sensory science theory and applications in foods

Food Research International 26 (1993) 15-17 Book Reviews Sensory Evaluation Techniques, 2nd edition By M. Meilgaard, G.-V. Civille and B. T. Carr, CR...

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Food Research International 26 (1993) 15-17

Book Reviews Sensory Evaluation Techniques, 2nd edition By M. Meilgaard, G.-V. Civille and B. T. Carr, CRC Press, Inc., Ann Arbor, 1991. pp. 354, price $89.95, $99.95 (outside USA) ISBN o-8493-4280-5 Recent years have seen an increasing number of books related to sensory evaluation appear in publishers lists and on library and office shelves. Sensory evaluation has evolved significantly in theory and in practice over the past 30 years and the available volumes range from detailed background discussions, including edited volumes of specialist treatments, to straightforward how-to manuals. This book takes the middle ground and as such fills a much needed role. The authors intended this volume to serve a teaching function both for professionals working in the field and as a textbook in university courses. It is likely to succeed on both counts. As a potential text it includes an overview of theory and practice that most instructors of sensory courses currently piece together from various sources. The first five chapters, which include discussions of sensory attributes and perception, controls of test variables, physiological and psychological factors, and measurement of sensory responses, present the basic information necessary for workers and undergraduate students in the field. Chapters 11 and 12 provide reviews of statistical design and analysis which, although useful, cannot pretend to substitute for basic courses in statistics. The remainder of the book deals in a concise and straightforward manner with the practical aspects of sensory work including differences tests, ranking, threshold determinations, descriptive analysis and affective tests. These chapters, including their numerous appendices and statistical tables, will remain as practical references for professionals long after the completion of any course. Instructors of graduate level courses, at least, would likely supplement most of the topics covered with additional readings. In this regard the Food Research International (26) (1993)--O Institute of Food Science and Technology

1993 Canadian

reference lists provided at the end of each chapter, while functional, are somewhat sparse. A major limitation of this book is its narrow cultural focus. That it is not alone among available books in this regard reflects the major contribution of USA industries and institutions to the development of sensory studies. Many of the examples which discuss specific products and marketing situations in the USA give the impression that the volume was written primarily for a North American corporate audience. For example, components of the Spectrum system developed by one of the authors, and outlined in detail in the book, are valuable in North America but not necessarily elsewhere. This specific focus reduces the book’s usefulness and appeal to an international audience. The test room design presented in Chapter 3 while following ASTM recommendations is beyond the reach of many institutions. Little is said about alternative approaches in situations where resources are limited. Undoubtedly for professionals outside of the USA many aspects of this book can be adapted to local use if desired. However, in an era of increasing global trade and industrialization of food production there is a need to make techniques and theory of sensory evaluation more cross-culturally generalizable. T. Johns

Sensory Science Theory and Applications in Foods Edited by H. T. Lawless and B. P. Klein, Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, 1991. pp. 456, price $69.75 (US and Canada), $80.00 (all other countries). ISBN O-8247-8537-1 This book comprises the proceedings of the Fourteenth Annual Basic Symposium ‘Advances in Sensory Science’ held in California in June 1990 and, as such, brings together a range of current topics in the sensory area. These topics are covered in fifteen chapters, all written by eminent sensory scientists, contributions being made by both industrial and academic researchers.


Book Reviews

The preface outlines the aims of the conference and the subsequent aims of this publication. It provides a multi-disciplinary view of the physiological and psychological responses which contribute to food selection and the range of methods available for measuring and interpreting these responses. Consumer acceptability is an important factor and the need to understand and quantify sensory attributes to determine the potential success of a product is considered to be vital. The first chapter discusses the bridging of the gap between psychology and physiology in the understanding of sensory perceptions. This important theme is followed through in many of the subsequent chapters. Physiological factors are discussed in Chapters 2, 3 and 4, while in Chapter 5 a unifying mathematical theory is put forward in an attempt to explain the interaction of physiological and psychological laws. Psychological parameters, e.g. concepts and language, are covered by chapters 6, 8 and 9. Computer models simulating the functions of learning and knowledge retention are discussed in Chapter 7 which describes the potential of neural networks. Chapter 10 discusses individual differences in taste and smell, and describes work done to identify the variables contributing to these individual differences. In Chapters 11 and 12 the evolution of descriptive techniques is covered and also the development of the ultimate descriptive vocabulary. Interpretation of data is an important consideration and Procrustes analysis provides a multivariate statistical technique for data analysis. The technique is described in Chapter 13 in terms of historical and theoretical background, and techniques and applications. The importance of qualitative research alongside quantitative work and the requirements for good qualitative research are covered in Chapter 14 and the final chapter discusses claim substantiation for sensory superiority and equivalence. The book would be of benefit to those involved in sensory research who are interested in recent developments. Its content is such that it cannot be considered as a basic teaching volume since only limited background of the sensory field is given. However, it is of use in specific applications of advanced sensory research. The papers presented provoke thought and initiate further research and the comprehensive referencing of each chapter is invaluable. A brief index is also provided covering the major topics under discussion. Frances R. Jack

Handbook of Applied Mycology: Mycotoxins in Ecological Systems, Volume 5 Edited by D. Bhatnagar, E. B. Lillehoj and D. K. Arora, Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, 1992. pp. 464, price $150.00 (Canada and US) and $172.50 (all other countries). ISBN O-8247-855 l-7 This book represents an integrated approach on the ecological significance of many mycotoxins as they relate to genetic and evolutionary origin of fungi and the synthesis of toxic metabolites. The manifestation of biological effects in target organs, current research advances in methods for detection of mycotoxins and modification of host-cell genomes following exposure to a variety of specific mycotoxins is also concentrated on. The handbook volume 5 is divided into sixteen chapters, each written by recognized scientists in the various fields of study. Chapter 1 is an interesting overview of the information on the history of knowledge concerning the production of mycotoxins in the agro-ecosystem. Identification of genotoxic agents and their mechanism of action to initiate a specific destabilization in the cell, which ultimately lead to genetic rearrangements is covered in detail. Conceptual diagrams facilitate the understanding of xenobiotic enzyme induction of aflatoxin activation and the formation of aflatoxin-DNA adducts prior to the development of mutagenesis and carcinogenesis. Chapter 2 is a comprehensive review of the preharvest infection vectors which are responsible for the contamination of maize by aflatoxin. In particular, interesting accounts of the plant-insect and fungus-plant-insect interactions are given. Chapter 3 is a unique chapter which explains and compares the biological effects of aflatoxins on both mammalian as well as higher and lower plant systems. The discussion on the ecological significance of aflatoxins in this chapter brings a number of curious phenomena to the forefront. Chapter 4 is a very important chapter to this text, since it describes the various methods for the characterization and detection of mycotoxins. The author concentrates on the development of various immunoassay technologies to assist witheither the quick screening of aflatoxins or, alternatively the development of more complex ELISA methods for the specific quantitation of various mycotoxins in a variety of sample matrices. Chapters 6, 7 and 8 deal individually with the interaction between mycotoxins with specific insect, plant, fish and human exposure to the various