Warm-Up Effect in Panelist-Articulated-2-Alternative Forced Choice Test

David J. Bloom, Hwa Young Baik, Soo Yeun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: Panelist performance in discrimination tests has been shown to increase when warm-up samples are provided prior to the actual test. Samples are used prior to the actual test for the attribute articulation process of a panelist-articulated-2-alternative forced choice (PA-2-AFC) procedure; however, it is yet unknown if the pretest articulation phase adds to the power of this testing method as with the warm-up. The goal of the study was to determine if a “warm-up” effect was displayed in the PA-2-AFC test resulting in greater power compared to the researcher-designated-2-AFC (RD-2-AFC) test. A RD-2-AFC test, with and without warm-up samples, and a PA-2-AFC test were performed by 61 panelists. A reduced calorie, citrus-flavored, and carbonated beverage was used in the tests. During RD-2-AFC testing, panelists were asked to identify which sample was more sour. For PA-2-AFC testing, panelists individually articulated the nature and direction of the difference between the 2 samples through a pretesting articulation procedure. The articulated difference was, then, used in standard 2-AFC test procedure. A warm-up effect was observed when comparing the standard RD-2-AFC with and without warm-up samples. The addition of warm up samples significantly increased the power of the test, in addition, the PA-2-AFC method had lower power than the RD-2-AFC method. The increase in power with the addition of warm-up samples for the RD-2-AFC procedure supports literature findings on the benefit of providing warm-up samples. No warm-up effect can be attributed to the PA-2-AFC method evidenced by the overall low power observed, which may be attributed to sample complexity. Practical Application: Selecting a specified discrimination testing method is advantageous and can reduce costs of sensory testing, but has been considered unpractical when samples may differ in unknown ways. This research explores the use of panelist derived terms to circumvent the need for researchers to identify these differences and compares the results to using research designated terms in discrimination testing. Results from this study can be utilized in creating ways to incorporate more powerful methods into sensory discrimination testing plans and provides researchers with a means for selecting terms for use in specified discrimination testing methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-166
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of food science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • 2-AFC
  • discrimination testing
  • panelist articulated
  • warm-up

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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