Statistics of Sensory Assessment: Cohen’s Kappa

Statistics of Sensory

Using people as diagnostic sensors produces more variation than instrumental methods. There are situations where the benefits of human-based measures outweigh their inconsistency. This is particularly true for aromas and flavors.

Choosing, training and aligning panelists is a big investment. If sensory activities are key to your business success, you need to know how well your system is performing. Evaluating sensory judge quality can be challenging. Between-judge agreement appears simple, yet it is critical to success.

Cohen’s Kappa

One approach to evaluating agreement involves Cohen’s Kappa. For example, the judges measure a set of standards for intensity, using four levels. The collected impressions are then compared. A Kappa table looks like the following diagram:

cohens kappa

A Kappa value of 54% represents moderate agreement. Your situation may demand that panelists agree better than this level, though.

How to achieve better results? How to train your judges to achieve the new norm? How to support the Sensory system over time to assure success? Answering these questions need a sophisticated approach.

Volatile Analysis is expert at evaluating sensory activities, including panel performance tracking over time. Contact us to schedule a consultation on your statistical or sensory appraisal needs.