Flash profile (FP) is an alternative sensory analysis technique adapted from Free Choice Profiling to understand the sensory positioning of products. Untrained subjects select their own terms to describe and evaluate a set of products simultaneously, and then rank the products for each attribute that they individually create. They are asked to focus on the descriptive terms, not on the hedonic terms1,2. FP was proposed in 2002 by Dairou and Sieffermann1. FP does not require training session because the subjects have to rank products on an ordinal scale for each term, which is different from Free Choice Profiling that the subjects have to give the intensity for each attribute1.
The advantages of this technique are that it is less time consuming and is more cost effective when compared to other available descriptive analysis methods such as Quantitative Descriptive Analysis or Descriptive Profiling method that require extensive training and are costly to set up1. FP can also be used at the initial stage of a project to create the sensory attributes for the Conventional Descriptive Analysis1,2. FP shows practical feasibility on the evaluation of a large food product set3.
Because each subject use his/her own descriptive terms to evaluate the products, the individual sensory maps are treated with Generalized Procrustes Analysis (GPA) to create a consensus configuration. Cluster analysis can also be performed after the GPA on the descriptive terms to assist on the interpretation1,3.
1 Dairou, V, and Sieffermann, JM. 2002. A comparison of 14 jams characterized by conventional profile and a quick original method, the flash profile. Journal of Food Science, 67,826-834.
2 Delarue, J, and Sieffermann, JM. 2004. Sensory mapping using flash profile. Comparison with a conventional descriptive method for the evaluation of the flavour of fruit dairy products. Food Quality and Preference, 15,383-392.
3 Tarea, S, Cuvelier, G, and Sieffermann, JM. 2007. Sensory evaluation of the texture of 49 commercial apple and pear purees. Journal of Food Quality, 30,1121-1131.