All branded and processed products sold in grocery stores are eligible to participate in the Superior Taste Award annually.
Product Preparation before Judging
When receiving samples from the producers, iTQi checks to make sure that the products are in suitable condition for testing. Each sample will be given a unique identification number and be properly labelled. Products are then stored in the conditions specified by the producers, awaiting to be evaluated.
iTQi reserves the right to test the physical and chemical components of the samples with accredited laboratories to ensure that the products tested are the same quality when it reaches the consumers.
Products are tested on a strictly blind basis, without packaging and without any identification.
The unique identification number that is assigned to each product is to ensure a reliable tracking system. Products are strictly prepared, heated or cooked according to producer's instructions and are presented as if they were served at home in a specific sequential order.
Each judge willl the taste the product and assign a numeric score to each criterion from the sensory analysis on an evaluation sheet provided. The scores will be tallied to reflect the overall feeling of hedonic pleasure (the most important weight in the final mark) and other criteria like vision, smell, texture, flavour and mouth-feel.
Products are tested by a large panel of judges from different nationalities.
Not a competition
Products are evaluated on their individual merits and do not compete against each other.
The scores are compiled by computer software that will 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 upon request.
iTQi’s tasting procedures are monitored by the Belgian Ministry of Economic Affaires - Market Organisation.