Insights on older adults' perception of at-home sensory-hedonic methods: A case of Ideal Profile Method and CATA with ideal

Angelica Ruark, Monique H. Vingerhoeds, Stefanie Kremer, Mariska Nijenhuis, Betina Piqueras-Fiszman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The increasing average life expectancy and overall percentage of the older population is leading to a growing interest in healthy aging. Thus, there is a demand for flavourful, and pleasant foods, rich in certain nutrients, targeted at older consumers. In order to be able to tailor foods to older consumers wants and needs, it is necessary to investigate and - if necessary - to further improve sensory and consumer science testing methodologies when working with healthy and frail/malnourished older adults.This study aims to investigate older consumers' perception and performance of two sensory-hedonic methods conducted at home based on their ease of use, preference, duration to complete the task, and discrimination ability. Insights about their understanding of the tasks were also collected. Additionally, the study compares the older adults' performance and perception to those of young consumers. The two methods selected for comparison were Yes/No forced-choice Check-All-That-Apply with ideal (CATA-I) and Ideal Profile Method (IPM).Due to the interest in older consumers increasing their protein intake, seven protein-enriched dairy drinks were selected. The dairy drinks were sampled one per day, using one method one week and the other method two weeks later by 67 older (M = 67.96 y.o., SD = 5.09) and 83 young subjects (M = 22.95 y.o., SD = 2.31). Although the IPM method was reported to be more difficult for the older group than CATA-I, there was no preference between the two methods. In addition, they seemed to struggle with the limited options in CATA-I. The data of the older consumers revealed a similar number of discriminating attributes to characterise the products using both methods; the results were also similar to those of the young participants. This study provides novel consumer-centric insights on the use and understanding of two relatively new sensory-hedonic methods by older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-38
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Aging
  • CATA
  • IPM
  • Older consumers
  • Protein
  • Sensory-hedonic methods


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