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Organoleptic properties are the aspects of food or other substances as experienced by the senses, including taste, sight, smell, and touch, in cases where dryness, moisture, and stale-fresh factors are to be considered.
In traditional U.S. Department of Agriculture meat and poultry inspections, inspectors perform a variety of organoleptic procedures to detect signs of disease or contamination. Such techniques are part of the effort to detect invisible foodborne pathogens causing food poisoning.
Organoleptic tests are sometimes conducted to determine if package materials and components can transfer tastes and odors to the food or pharmaceutical products that they are packaged in. Shelf life studies often use taste, sight, and smell (in addition to food chemistry and toxicology tests) to determine whether a food product is suitable for consumption.
Organoleptic analyses are, occasionally, still utilized when the method protocol that is to be utilized for a certain sample does not have a high enough sample throughput to meet the demand. In this case, organoleptic analyses will be utilized as a primary screen to determine which samples need to be analyzed according to the original method protocol and which samples do not need any further sensory analysis.
Measurements on the Scoville scale depend upon an organoleptic test. The quality of extracts used in phytotherapy is assessed in part using organoleptic tests. Organoleptic qualities are considered as part of Hurdle technology. Indicators identified organoleptically as part of European Union wine regulations are assessed when qualifying for a Quality Wine indicator.
- This article incorporates public domain material from the Congressional Research Service document "Report for Congress: Agriculture: A Glossary of Terms, Programs, and Laws, 2005 Edition" by Jasper Womach.