Progressive types of analysis and handling sensory data are possible using modern computers and related hardware. Large computers facilitate the use of statistical methods such as factor analysis and multiple regression analysis. The availability of electronic plotting devices and digitizers to transcribe panellists responses directly to computer file permit the use of large volumes of data. In these studies three types of panel are used. An expert technical panel, for quality control, comprised of highly experienced individuals trained to judge beer through discrimination, profile and defect determination sensory methods. A trained panel of discriminating employees, using their own terminology, generate data for Quantitative Descriptive Analysis. Finally a 'panel' of untrained brewery visitors who were asked to measure acceptance and preference between beers. Three case histories are presented, based on Quantitative Descriptive Analysis. In the first the development of a new product is followed, comparing the test beer with a market leader and another established brand. Data for the three beers is presented in cluster form, primarily bitter and fruity/sweet character clusters. Beer character was modified until considered ready for acceptance testing. In the second study, beers were tested continuously over two and a half years. Acceptance and preference ratings for three beers by the visitor panel are presented graphically, and compared with the results of Quantitative Descriptive Analysis. The third study concerns the development of an existing brand. The study's objective was to attain parity acceptance with major competitive brands and to maintain consumer acceptance at parity or better with the existing product.
Keywords: beer brewing industry computer flavour impression taste test