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ASTM International Seeks Written Submissions and Participants in Revision of Sensory Claims Standard

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ASTM International’s sensory evaluation committee (E18) invites all interested parties to participate in revising its guide for sensory claim substantiation (E1958). Participation can take the form of a written submission or active involvement in revision of the standard.

According to ASTM International member John Castura, the purpose of the planned revision to the standard is to provide more detailed guidance on the sensory and statistical methods for substantiating a non-comparative sensory claim. Such claims convey something specific about a product, usually a product benefit or attribute difference, and do not generally seek to provide information about the product compared to other products. 

“For example, consider an advertiser who claims that a cleaning product ‘leaves no residue’. This claim communicates something about this product and also creates a consumer expectation,” says Castura, who is vice president of innovation, research and development at Compusense Inc. and chair of the Sensory Claims Substantiation workgroup. “Of course, the product then has to deliver. This is just one example of a non-comparative claim that draws attention to specific product benefits without making direct comparisons with competing products.”

Castura notes that the revised standard will provide industry best practices for substantiating non-comparative sensory claims.

“Non-comparative sensory claims are the most common type of sensory claim,” says Castura. “As with other types of claims, they should only be advertised when supported by sufficient evidence. The revised guide will indicate what professionals with expertise in this type of testing consider to be appropriate evidence.” 

The task group working on the E1958 revision invites written submissions from the broader sensory and consumer sciences community by March 31, 2021.

“Specifically, we seek submissions from stakeholders working in fields such as sensory and consumer science, marketing, legal, and advertising regulation who assert, defend, and evaluate non-comparative sensory claims,” says Castura. 

The task group is particularly interested in submissions on aspects related to sensory test methods, appropriate sample sizes, and statistical analyses. Queries and written submissions can be sent by email to the Committee Contact listed below. 

Media Inquiries: Jaime Martorana, tel +1.610.832.9796; jmartorana@astm.org  

Committee Contact: John Castura, tel +1.519.836.9993; jcastura@compusense.com

Release #11154

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Committee: 
E18