All branded and processed products sold in grocery stores are eligible to participate annually to the Superior Taste Award.
Preparing products for judging
When receiving the samples from the producer, iTQi makes sure that they are in suitable condition for testing and that the identifications are correctly and comprehensibly labelled. Products are then kept in the conditions required by the manufacturer, awaiting evaluation.
iTQi holds the right to proceed to physical-chemical tests with accredited laboratories in order to check that the products are technically sound and will be of the same high quality when they reach the consumer.
Products are tested on a strictly blind basis, without packaging and without any kind of identification.
A code is assigned to each product in order to ensure the most reliable tracking. Products are prepared, heated or cooked strictly according to producer's instructions and are presented as if they were served at home in a specific sequential order.
Each judge is dedicated to a sensory analysis of the tasted product and assigns a numeric score on an evaluation sheet reflecting the overall feeling of hedonic pleasure (the most important weight in the final mark) and also other criteria like vision, smell, texture, flavour and mouth-feel.
Products are tested by large panels of judges from different nationalities.
Not a competition
Products are evaluated on their individual merits and don't compete against each other.
The various scores are compiled by computer in order to determine the final global mark.
For each product, iTQi issues a confidential report with a sensory evaluation graph detailing the different organoleptic criteria. Extracts of comments or suggestions made by the Chefs and Sommeliers can be made available on demand.
iTQi tasting proceedures are monitored by the Belgian Ministry of Econimic Affaires - Market Organisation.