From the Deutsche Landwirtschafts-Gesellschaft (DLG) - German Agricultural Society - located in Frankfurt am Main, tests for the quality of bread, morning goods and confectionery baked goods are regularly offered. Here, the products sent in are tested by independent sensory experts in regard to sensory quality. When the test has been passed successfully, the products are presented with awards which serve to promote the manufacture and sales of high-quality products.
To participate in official DLG quality tests as an expert, a range of qualification measures are required.
The successful participation in sensory seminars is necessary to learn one’s personal performance capability and gustatory capability and to be able to judge objectively. For example, sensory methods such as:
- recognition of the basic types of taste
- threshold tests (trigger and recognition threshold)
- rating tests
- triangle test
help to support the sensory aptitude and to achieve the qualifications required. In addition, the methodology and techniques of sensory testing are passed on.
Over and above, during training as an examiner, a substantial amount of time is spent evaluating baked goods or other foodstuffs with one another with the help of a set examination procedure. The aim is to define a uniform way of addressing faults and generally binding product standards and to learn to train the way of dealing with the examination procedure. In addition to this, each examiner has to have basic knowledge of the product and its manufacture during tests for descriptions and evaluations.
A test sheet is divided into six characteristics for testing:
- Upper surface properties, Crust properties
- Aeration and crumb appearance
- Texture, Elasticity
A maximum of 5 points can be achieved within each test characteristic. Should faults have been ascertained in the product, then a devaluation occurs. In addition, each test characteristic has a weighting factor which gives the faults a corresponding grading. The Shape/Appearance has a weighting of only 2, while the Taste has a weighting of 6.
Every test characteristic is evaluated in its own right. During the examination, testing takes place from the “outside” to the “inside”. At the end of a test, the determination of a quality number, which involves the possible award of the baked goods, takes place.