A multisensor data fusion approach for predicting consumer acceptance of food products
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Sensory experiences play an important role in consumer response, purchase decision, and fidelity towards food products. Consumer studies when launching new food products must incorporate physiological response assessment to be more precise and, thus, increase their chances of success in the market. This paper introduces a novel sensory analysis system that incorporates facial emotion recognition (FER), galvanic skin response (GSR), and cardiac pulse to determine consumer acceptance of food samples. Taste and smell experiments were conducted with 120 participants recording facial images, biometric signals, and reported liking when trying a set of pleasant and unpleasant flavors and odors. Data fusion and analysis by machine learning models allow predicting the acceptance elicited by the samples. Results confirm that FER alone is not sufficient to determine consumers' acceptance. However, when combined with GSR and, to a lesser extent, with pulse signals, acceptance prediction can be improved. This research targets predicting consumer's acceptance without the continuous use of liking scores. In addition, the findings of this work may be used to explore the relationships between facial expressions and physiological reactions for non-rational decision-making when interacting with new food products. © 2020 by the authors.