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The Constrained Median: A Way to Incorporate Side Information in the Assessment of Food Samples

KERMIT, Department of Data Analysis and Mathematical Modelling, Ghent University, 9000 Gent, Belgium
Department of Statistics and O.R. and Mathematics Didactics, University of Oviedo, 33003 Oviedo, Spain
FMFP—Research Unit Food Microbiology and Food Preservation, Department of Food Technology, Safety and Health, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Mathematics 2020, 8(3), 406;
Received: 18 February 2020 / Revised: 6 March 2020 / Accepted: 7 March 2020 / Published: 12 March 2020
A classical problem in the field of food science concerns the consensus evaluation of food samples. Typically, several panelists are asked to provide scores describing the perceived quality of the samples, and subsequently, the overall (consensus) scores are determined. Unfortunately, gathering a large number of panelists is a challenging and very expensive way of collecting information. Interestingly, side information about the samples is often available. This paper describes a method that exploits such information with the aim of improving the assessment of the quality of multiple samples. The proposed method is illustrated by discussing an experiment on raw Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), where the evolution of the overall score of each salmon sample is studied. The influence of incorporating knowledge of storage days, results of a clustering analysis, and information from additionally performed sensory evaluation tests is discussed. We provide guidelines for incorporating different types of information and discuss their benefits and potential risks. View Full-Text
Keywords: sensory evaluation; scoring; consensus; food quality sensory evaluation; scoring; consensus; food quality
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Sader, M.; Pérez-Fernández, R.; Kuuliala, L.; Devlieghere, F.; De Baets, B. The Constrained Median: A Way to Incorporate Side Information in the Assessment of Food Samples. Mathematics 2020, 8, 406.

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