The triangle test is a discriminative method with many uses in sensory science including:
- gauging if an overall difference is present between two products
- selecting qualified panellists for a particular test
- determining whether shifts in processing or ingredients have significantly changed a product.
During a triangle test, a panellist is presented with one different and two alike samples. If possible, all three samples should be presented to the panellist at once, and the panellist should be instructed to taste the samples from left to right. The six possible order combinations should be randomised across panellists. For samples A and B, the six possible order combinations are: AAB, ABA, BAA, BBA, BAB, and ABB. The panellist is instructed to identify the odd sample and record his answer.