Successful caps and closures need to pass the smell test — and the sight, taste, touch and sound tests as well.
Materials maker Dow Inc. focused on "The Science of Sensory" during a session on the recent 2020 Plastics News Caps & Closures conference. Midland, Mich.-based Dow makes several grades of polyethylene resin that are used to make caps and closures.
A sensory evaluation is the human response to the properties of foods and materials as perceived by the five senses, according to Gail Vance Civille, president of the Sensory Spectrum Inc. consulting firm in New Providence, N.J.
Companies in the caps and closures chain "can make an actionable decision" based on data from a sensory evaluation, she added. "If it's an important decision, make sure you have the time, money and samples to do the test."
Firms also need to combine product understanding with consumer understanding "to get the whole picture" in sensory evaluation, Vance Civille said.
Dow includes sensory science in its Pack Studios research and development centers. These locations can perform compounding, fabrication and physical testing of Dow materials. The firm operates nine Pack Studios globally.