14th AgroStat symposium

The 2016 AgroStat symposium was held at Nestlé Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland on March 21-24. It was professionally organized and had a lot of high quality scientific contributions in chemometrics, sensometrics, big data and risk & process. Most of the presentations and all posters were in English, while a few exceptions were French. The first day was reserved for a variety of workshops. There were around 120 participants, mostly French and Swiss, but also from Canada, Great Britain, Scandinavia, Portugal, Italy, USA, Germany and some other countries.

From Nofima Kristian Hovde Liland contributed with a poster describing the R package MatrixCorrelation and the newly developed Similarity of Matrices Index.


Presentations, posters and short papers are available from:

Comparison of MFA and GPA for projective mapping data

The paper “A comparison of generalised procrustes analysis and multiple factor analysis for projective mapping data” authored by O. Tomic, I. Berget and T. Næs was recently published in Food Quality and Preference.


Generalised procrustes analysis and multiple factor analysis are multivariate statistical methods that
belong to the family of multiblock methods. Both methods are often used for analysis of data from projective
mapping (a.k.a. Napping). In this study, generalised procrustes analysis and multiple factor analysis
are compared for a number of simulated and real data sets. The type of data used in this study
were (I) random data from Monte Carlo simulations; (II) constructed data that were manipulated according
to some specific criteria; (III) real data from nine Napping experiments. Focus will be on similarities of
the consensus solutions. In addition we considered interpretation of the RV coefficient and individual differences
between assessors.


Projective mapping
Generalised procrustes analysis
Multiple factor analysis
Consumer test
Multiblock method
RV coefficient


Consumers’ perception of a functional food

Paula Varela has been coauthoring the paper “Understanding consumers’ perception of the concept and sensory experience of a functional food”  to be published in LWT-Food Science and Technology. In this paper the authors used Flash Profile to generate attributes to further use in a CATA study with consumers.  Sensory and non-sensory parameters related to food choice were explored. The full reference of the paper with link to ScienceDirect is

Hernández-Carrión, M., Varela, P., Hernando, I., Fiszman, S. M., & Quiles, A. Persimmon milkshakes with enhanced functionality: Understanding consumers’ perception of the concept and sensory experience of a functional food. LWT – Food Science and Technology.

Highlights from paper

Consumers perceived persimmon milkshakes as a functional beverage.

Milkshakes with pressurised persimmon were highly accepted by consumers.

Milkshakes with pasteurised persimmon were scored with the lowest overall liking.

Pressurisation allowed formulating persimmon milkshakes despite their seasonality.

Visiting researcher

EtaioIThis autumn we have the pleasure of a visit from Iñaki Etaio, who is lecturer and researcher at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). He works at LASEHU (the sensory lab of UPV/EHU). He has a Ph.D in Food Science and Technolog. His main focus has been on descriptive analysis and sensory quality control on wine, cheese and meat, but he has also started with consumer acceptability of different products.

During his stay, he will among other things work on data analysis on sensory data from lamb meat samples sold in the Basque Country, and relating the sensory properties to other data types characterising the meat, such as textural data, together with different people in our group. He also aims at achieving more training in statistics in particular on experimental design, analysis of consumer and sensory data. We will enjoy his stay, and look forward to fruitful collaborations.

Agriculture in the Basque Country

Ovejas y monte Txindoki visto desde el barrio de San Juan Txiki entre Lazkao y Zaldibi, Gipuzkoa  mahastiak Arabako Errioxa

Pictures are from
http://www.verfotos.org/index.php/monte_txindoki_12326 http://www.hagoos.com/es/vinedos_rioja_alavesa_hagoos_enologico

Stability in consumer responses during exposure

The paper “Stability in consumer resonses to familiar and new chocoloates during period of exposure” written by Tormod Næs and co-authors was recently published in Food Quality and Preference.


  • New results on effects of product exposure.
  • Comparison of rating and take-away choice.
  • Comparison of home testing and in hall tests.
  • Comparison of individual differences and average effects


The aim of this paper is to study the effects of exposure to different types of chocolate on consumer responses. Three different chocolates were considered, one established market leader and two new chocolates from a product development project. A group of consumers participated two times in a central location test and were exposed to different chocolates over a 4 weeks period between the two occasions. Main focus is on informed liking with the inclusion of brand name. Both average effects and individual differences in consumers’ responses are discussed. The main conclusion of this study is that the liking of the established chocolate was similar before and after exposure (with a slight decrease in liking) while the liking went significantly up for one of the new products.


Exposure; Familiarity; Liking; Individual differences; Product development

Full citation:

Næs, T.; Segtnan, A.; Granli, B. S.; Menichelli, E.; Hersleth, M., Stability in consumer responses to familiar and new chocolates during a period of exposure. Food Quality and Preference 2015, 39, (0), 176-182.

DOI: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2014.07.015

Science direct: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0950329314001621

Paper: Conjoint analysis for exploratory study of consumer preferences

The paper “Consumer preferences for iced coffee determined by conjoint
analysis: an exploratory study with Norwegian consumers” written by Daniele Asioli, Tormod Næs, Britt Signe Granli and Valérie Lengard Almli was recently accepted in International Journal of Food Science and Technology


The main aim of this study was to investigate consumer preferences for extrinsic attributes of iced coffee, explore consumers’ coffee consumption habits, find new market opportunities and segment consumers based on similar products preferences. A sample of 101 consumers of iced coffee was recruited during 2012 in Norway. Twelve iced coffee products combining different levels of attributes such as coffee type, origin, calories and price were presented on screen and rated according to consumers’ willingness to buy (WTB). Mixed model ANOVA, principal component analysis (PCA) and partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) were applied to analyse data. Results show that the most preferred products for the consumer sample as a whole were low-price low-calorie products, while age has a significant effect on WTB for different iced coffee products. Four different consumer segments based on type of iced coffee and country of production preferences were identified and discussed.


Conjoint analysis, consumers preference, iced coffee, Norway, rating, segmentation, willingness to buy.

SO-PLS as an exploratory tool for path modelling

The paper “SO-PLS as an exploratory tool for path modelling” written by Elena Menichelli, Trygve Almøy, Oliver Tomic, Nina Veflen Olsen and Tormod Næs has been published in Food Quality and Preference,


This paper discusses the use of the new path modelling approach based on Sequential Orthogonalised PLS regression within the context of consumer science. The method is based on splitting the estimation process into a sequence of modelling steps for each dependent block versus its predictive blocks. Focus will be  on how the method can be used to combine individual variables or specific groups of variables in more general blocks with a broader interpretation, such as for instance consumer habits, attitudes and demographic variables. It will be discussed how the methods can solve some of the challenges met when starting a path modelling process. It will be explored how the method handles multidimensionality of the blocks and thus how the analysis is simplified, at least for explorative purposes, as compared to other more traditional path modelling approaches. The study shows that important relations are revealed in presence of different types of information like product attributes, consumer characteristics and acceptance.


Path modelling, SO-PLS, Orthogonalisation, Regression, Multi-block