A gastronomically exciting title, Optimizing the sensory characteristics and acceptance of canned cat food: use of a human taste panel (G.J. Pickering; 2008), invites us to stretch the public understanding of social mores, by refining the methodology used in the evaluation of food prepared for human consumption, and applying it to the profiling of cat food products.
This ingenious approach defined multiple (eighteen) flavor attributes and texture dimensiones (four) of the food, and surrendered different commercial cat food samples to the human panel which was chosen on the basis of, among other things, the absence of aversion in tasting the products.
It is important to note that cats do lack receptors for sweet-tasting substances. They are also quite fussy in their food preferences and - as we are reminded in the paper - unable to verbalize their likes and dislikes. The study provides a baseline protocol for human evaluation of cat food products.
The author solemnly underlines that what should follow the research would be a search for the usefulness of the gathered data.