E3S PDO WG Project – Guideline for sensory analysis of PDOs

E3S PDO Working Group launches the project
“Guideline for sensory analysis of PDOs”

The members of the national sensory societies gathered in E3S are invited to participate. Please contact Mario Zannoni

The PDOs are quality products and their distinctiveness is a key factor of their success. PDO are produced by small plants, which operate in traditional way. Their sensory distinctiveness is appreciated by the consumers. If producers do not devote enough effort into delivering specific sensory features it becomes difficult to recognize the typical characteristics PDO products should have; moreover the products risk becoming similar to other generic products of the same category made by large industrial plants. Evaluating the sensory compliance of PDO products compared to the description in their official specifications is a difficult task because there are no shared methods for such evaluations.

Aim of the project

As result of this project, we should have more uniformity in sensory practices for evaluation of PDO’s thus avoiding unfair competition, which currently results from very different practices in Europe. The guideline shall be a tool for the accreditation bodies in evaluating sensory practices for the control of PDOs.

Objectives and deliverables

  • To form a working group with competences in sensory analysis methods and accreditation of PDOs.
  • To prepare a guideline for the sensory analysis of PDOs and how this is applied during accreditation.
  • Prepare annexes to the guideline with examples applied to specific classes of products (for example: cheeses, cured meats or wine).

Organization and schedule

  • Contact the E3S national organizations and INAO in France to form the working group in conjunction with the accreditation experts suggested by the European Accreditation organization.
  • Consult other stakeholders (consortia, control bodies) for comments about the work in progress.
  • Consider the EA Publication Reference EA-4/09 G2017 “Accreditation for sensory testing laboratories” as the basic reference from which to work from.
  • Two years’ work 2018-2019
  • Reports every six months.
  • Meeting of participants once a year at the E3S assembly.
  • Tentatively present first draft of the guideline at Eurosense in Verona in 2018.

Project team

  • Coordination for sensory analysis: Francisco José Perez Elortondo and Mario Zannoni
  • Coordination for accreditation: Elisa Gredilla
  • Other members: to be determined after contacting sensory and accreditation organizations.


Guidelines available for every PDO/PGI in Europe to be presented in an E3S event. This guideline will be an informative document with “useful advice on matters relating to accreditation” according to the EA – 1/14 M:2017 Document: “Procedure for development and approval of EA documents and adoption of ILAC/IAF documents” § 6.


The project is voluntary and self-financed by the participants.