SRLPharma will provide guidance on appropriate and safe human sensory studies

Sensory Science in Medicinal Product Development

Sensory analysis is the scientific discipline that utilizes the human senses for the purpose of evaluating consumer products (Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), Sensory Division)

The type of volunteer panels used for sensory assessments in medicinal product development are dependent on the objectives of the research question.

At SRLPharma we choose the correct panel of volunteers to answer your research question in the most effective way.  Naïve volunteers will provide subjective information on the palatability of products, while ‘Analytical’ testing is carried out by trained volunteers.

Trained Volunteer Panels

‘Trained’ volunteer panels, often referred to as ‘analytical panels’ are comprised of people who have been screened for their sensory acuity, trained on tasting principles and methods, and make objective measurements of the sensory characteristics of products. They are used to describe test products in detailed sensory terms, from which we obtain a descriptive sensory profile.

At SRLPharma we recruit and train volunteer panels for analytical measurements using strict ASTM and ISO standards, as well as our own strict internal protocols. In addition, medical inclusion/exclusion criteria, depending on the API under investigation will always be strictly adhered to.

All clinical research activities and regulated studies are run to GCP standard (ICH- GCP Clinical Trial Directives) and to the highest level of patient/volunteer safety and quality.

Naïve Panels

‘Naïve’ panels have no experience of sensory analysis and make subjective measurements of the sensory characteristics of products. They provide a hedonic reaction to the test product. When a volunteer provides a hedonic reaction to your product, they measure the palatability or the acceptability of it.

To measure the palatability of your product, SRLPharma will, under medical supervision and using protocols designed to meet your specific test requirements recruit the correct panel of volunteers. Particular emphasis will be placed on the inclusion and exclusion criteria as dictated by the medicine.


SRLPharma provide consultancy services for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies keeping their research in-house. We advise on all aspects of sensory and consumer research for medicinal products including:

  • Study design

  • Protocol development

  • Study documentation, development and review

  • Panel recruitment, screening, training and management

  • Bespoke training to suit your business needs

How have our services been used?

  • We have identified the key sensory attributes contributing to palatability
  • Determined target sensory profiles and compared these to prototypes and their competing products
  • Validated if taste masking challenges, such as high bitterness have been achieved
  • Measured patient acceptability and palatability of reformulated medicinal products

We can also use our expertise for the:

  • Quantification of the aroma, taste, flavour, aftertaste, afterflavour, mouthfeel, afterfeel of excipients, active ingredients or finished medicines
  • Comparison of the sensory characteristics of brand VS generic medicine
  • Determination of the bitterness intensity of active ingredients

SRLPharma can determine:

  • If your taste masking strategy works?
  • If your taste matched placebo products for double bind clinical trials are completely optimized?
  • If your medicine is palatable?

Get In Touch!

Contact SRLPharma today to see how we can help