Sensory characteristics of farmed cod exposed to low or conventional stress levels prior to slaughter were evaluated by a trained sensory panel. Consumers in two different settings, central location test (CLT) and home-use test (HUT), also tasted the products and rated them according to overall liking on a 9-point hedonic scale and sensory attributes on a 9-point intensity scale. Differences were observed in texture attributes of the two cod groups by the trained sensory panel. Consumers in the CLT distinguished between the two cod groups whereas consumers in the HUT setting did not. Consumers in the CLT scored the products lower with regard to liking, and evaluated sensory attributes differently from consumers in the HUT setting. The results indicated that the cooking method chosen by consumers in the HUT setting influenced the consumer evaluation of cod. Similar cooking methods used in CLT and HUT produced similar results of liking. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS This paper presents a comparison of sensory evaluation carried out by a trained sensory panel and consumer evaluation of farmed fish. Cod produced with conventional and reduced stress prior to slaughter differed in texture attributes according to sensory evaluation. Information about consumer liking of the end-product when changing production systems of farmed fish is very important. The sensory evaluation by a trained panel provides good product knowledge, but to be able to estimate the actual consumer liking of the fish products, consumer studies are needed. The results indicated that a central location test (CLT) could be used to predict consumer acceptance in a real-life setting, given that similar cooking methods are used in both settings. Fish is a very perishable product, and its sensory quality depends very much on factors such as storage time and preparation. Therefore, CLT may be well suited for consumer testing of fish products.
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