Givaudan celebrates 30 years of translating science into emotions with Sense It
Sense It, a proprietary taste language created by Givaudan, is celebrating its 30th anniversary. First developed in 1993, it has become a universal and standardized language used around the world for food experience characterization, differentiation, and product innovation.
Sense It has grown enormously since its inception, with Givaudan regularly adding new descriptors to the language. What began as a local tool for flavour characterization has been transformed into a robust universal language with descriptors for flavor, taste and mouthfeel. As the language has grown, so has its ability to describe up-and-coming categories, such as plant-based meat. For example, the introduction of a mouthfeel language for solid applications was recently rolled out, enabling manufacturers to better understand how to modulate dry, astringent and juiciness characteristics in plant-based products.
Fabio Campanile, Global head of Science & Technology Taste & Wellbeing, explains, “Consumers know if they like or do not like a product, but have difficulty explaining why. Sense It helps bridge the gap between what consumers perceive and what they are able to express. Over the years the language has been expanded into new, important categories and so it continues to be very valuable in helping guide our customers with their product creation.”
A strength of the Sense It language is that it allows usage in virtual environments, when alternatives to in-person consumer testing are needed. Trained panels at Givaudan were able to use Sense It along with their proprietary holistic profiling method to provide customers with highly accurate information on consumer perception without going to consumers.
Looking to the future, digitization will play a key role in simplifying the language’s increasing complexity and creating a seamless experience for users. Fabio remarked, “We’re creating a new set of digital tools that will help the user put their sensory perception of a product, such as a plant-based burger, into descriptive words that convey the full experience, including mouthfeel, colour and taste.”
While Sense It will greatly benefit from this digitization, it’s also playing a pivotal role in helping AI tools and digital tools become more effective. By translating consumer perception into language, Sense It provides a rich vocabulary with which we can digitally communicate about the senses, supporting and enabling our next generation of language-based AI applications.