How virtual reality can help sensory tests

July 31, 2018

In 2017, researchers from the European Sensory Network (ESN) conducted an experiment to investigate how an environmental context could be implemented in consumer testing.

In this experiment, they compared traditional product testing in a sensory laboratory with a test in a real pub and with different immersive situations such as virtual reality.


Biofortis Mérieux NutriSciences, with Lise Dreyfuss (Global Expert Sensory & Consumer), developed a VR experiment to ensure full immersion of the consumers in a realistic virtual environment.


This experiment was conducted on 513 volunteers regrouped in 5 groups and who tested 4 different beers.

Each group tested the products in a different situation:

Central location for group 1, immersed in a 360-degree video from a real pub in VR for group 2, group number 3 tested the products in a real Irish pub, group 4 was immersed with Biofortis MXNS VR solution. Respondents tested the beers while wearing VR glasses with a scene based on a 3D modeling of a real pub.


The volunteers were immersed in the scene and could interact with the glass of beers. 

This way, they did not need to take off the VR glasses, neither for grasping the beers nor for answering the questions.


Finally, group number 5 tested the beers in an immersive room equiped with two big screens which gave the feeling  of being in a pub.


Check out the full video below :




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As part of Mérieux NutriSciences, Biofortis supports the food and health industries by conducting research projects with a unique nutrition and analytical service. A one-stop shop CRO offering innovative services including clinical assessments, microbiota-related research, sensory evaluation and consumer studies.


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