HRATA : A new sensory methodology using advantage of wine aromatic wheels

Wine is an intrinsically complex aromatic product. To formalize this aromatic diversity and the hierarchical structure of the aromas, it is common to present them in the form of a wheel of aromas. These are used for learning and communication purposes but never for the acquisition of sensory characteristics.

The HRATA (Hierarchical Rate All That Apply) methodology proposes to combine the benefits of methodologies traditionally used in sensory evaluation. It proposes both 1°) a complete characterization of the aromas based on a RATA approach that gives tasters a strong freedom in the evaluation of an exhaustive list of attributes and 2°) a hierarchical presentation of attributes that allows tasters to position more or less accurately (family, category or term) according to their perceptions. It facilitates also data acquisition in a professional context without previous common training. Coupled with a computerized user-friendly interface in the form of an interactive aroma wheel, tasters can easily choose and score as many attributes as necessary with different levels of precision if they wish.

This original methodology was tested with 6 wines of Chenin grape variety from the Loire Valley and using the wheels of the Chenin aromas proposed by WOSA. Twenty-four tasters characterized each wine twice with the sole instruction to score as many attributes as necessary on the wheel. Several statistical strategies were compared to analyze this original dataset and to improve the data interpretation and presentation. Some technical issues will be also discussed.

This methodology would be very relevant for exploring the relationships between sensory and physico-chemical characteristics or for studying some sensory concepts such as the typicity or complexity of wines.

Presenting author: Ronan SYMONEAUX – GRAPPE – Ecole Supérieure d’Agricultures – INRAE

Additionnal authors: Corine PATRON, GRAPPE – Ecole Supérieure d’Agriculture – INRAE, Etienne NEETHLING, GRAPPE – Ecole Supérieure d’Agriculture – INRAE, Cécile COULON-LEROY, GRAPPE – Ecole Supérieure d’Agriculture – INRAE

Email: r.symoneaux@groupe-esa.com

Keywords: Aroma, Sensory Evaluation, RATA, Chenin

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