NA 022

DKE German Commission for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies of DIN and VDE

Standards [CURRENT]

DIN ISO 3972
Sensory analysis - Methodology - Method of investigating sensitivity of taste (ISO 3972:2011 + Cor. 1:2012)

Title (German)

Sensorische Analyse - Methodologie - Bestimmung der Geschmacksempfindlichkeit (ISO 3972:2011 + Cor. 1:2012)


The standard contains, without any alterations, the International Standard ISO 3972:2011 which has been prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 34 "Food products" (secretariat: AFNOR (France)), Subcommittee SC 12 "Sensory analysis" (secretariat: IRAM (Argentina)). Based on the resolution of Working Committee NA 057-01-01 AA "Sensorik" ("Sensory analysis"), the International Standard has been adopted, without any alterations, into the German body of standards. During this process Corrigendum 1 containing a warning with regard to the use of substances which shall only be used taking into account certain safety concerns (such as iron(II)-sulfate-heptahydrate as a reference substance for a metallic taste) has also been incorporated. Collaboration of DIN for the field of responsibility of ISO/TC 34/SC 12 is performed through Working Committee NA 057-01-01 "Sensorik" ("Sensory analysis") of NAL. This document contains a comprehensive guideline for the method of investigating the sensitivity of taste of assessors performing sensory analysis on food products. Within the framework of the revision of DIN 10959 it was decided to actively contribute to the revision of ISO 3972, which was simultaneously planned at ISO level, by taking over the project management and to subsequently adopt the revised International Standard as a DIN ISO. The purpose of this standard is to teach assessors to recognize tastes and to distinguish between them, to teach them to know different types of threshold, to make them aware of their own sensitivity of taste, and to enable test supervisors to carry out a preliminary categorization of assessors. The methods can also be used as a periodic monitor of the sensitivity of taste of assessors who are already members of sensory analysis panels. The document describes the overall process of performing the investigation including interpretation and specifies the reagents for preparing the test solutions and their individual concentrations. One essential technical modification with regard to previous standard DIN 10959 is the inclusion of the tastes umami and metallic. Also, all test solution concentrations have been redefined. Since sodium glutamate is often used as a flavour enhancer in food production and thus the assessor training shall be focused on that, the taste umami which can be traced back to sodium glutamate has been included into the training program for investigating sensitivity of taste. The taste metallic has been newly included and added to the classic tastes sweet, acid, salty and bitter. Informative Annexes A and B give examples of completed answer forms. Annex C contains examples of water quality. It can influence the identification of tastes. Demineralized water shall be used to prevent oxidation and to enable the sensation of a metallic taste. The use of demineralized water and water of lower hardness results in lower recognition thresholds for the tastes bitter and acid. In addition to the special definitions, reference is made to the terminology standard in the field of sensory analysis, ISO 5492. This International Standard (also available as multilingual version EN ISO 5492:2009) contains a wide selection of definitions in English, French, Russian, Spanish and German.

Document: references other documents

Responsible national committee

NA 057-08-01 AA - Sensory analysis 

Edition 2013-12
Original language German
Translation English
Price from 63.90 €
Table of contents



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