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The Company’s Best Yogurt

The Importance of Statistics in Food Product Development


Helen S. Joyner
School of Food Science
University of Idaho


In this case study, students assume the roles of research and development personnel in a dairy company that is developing a low-fat yogurt. Guided by research provided by the company's marketing department, students must select attributes of the yogurt to improve, develop an experimental design for evaluating the effects of ingredients on their selected attribute, analyze the data generated from their design, and determine their most successful formulation. Students should be familiar with ANOVA and basic experimental design and have an understanding of general principles of quality management in food manufacturing. Originally developed for a senior-level undergraduate statistical quality management course, this case is also appropriate for courses focusing on quality management in industrial settings, as well as a general undergraduate statistics or an experimental design course.

  • Discuss aspects of experimental design required for a given scenario.
  • Create an experimental design for a one-factor ANOVA test.
  • Determine the null and alternative hypotheses for a one-factor ANOVA test.
  • Calculate one-factor ANOVA parameters given a data set.
  • Analyze the results of a one-factor ANOVA test and decide whether to accept or reject the null hypothesis.
  • Explain how ANOVA results can assist in research and development of a food product.
Keywords: Statistics; quality management; quality control; food safety; food quality; research and development; product development; experimental design; data analysis; analysis of variance; ANOVA; food industry; yogurt; dairy products
Topical Area: N/A
Educational Level: Undergraduate upper division, Graduate, Continuing education
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Analysis (Issues), Discussion, Interrupted
Language: English
Subject Headings: Statistics   Food Science / Technology  
Date Posted: 7/28/2014
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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