Sensorial analysis for topical drugs

Poor adherence to topical treatment is a serious problem with several contributing factors. Numerous studies have shown that poor texture and sensorial properties negatively impact patient experience and adherence to treatment. Sensorial analysis will help you developing innovative topical formulations, taking into consideration patient’s experience of texture and sensorial properties.

A tool to formulate patient-friendly textures

Sensorial analysis is a scientific discipline that applies the principles of experimental design and statistical analysis to measure, analyze, and interpret the characteristics of a product as they are perceived by the senses.

Gattefossé has developed validated methods and established an in-house trained panel. Using this approach, we can evaluate the sensorial properties of prototype formulations to:

  • assess the influence of raw materials in the formulation,
  • evaluate the main texture characteristics of our excipients,
  • compare prototypes with market references,
  • understand market preferences,
  • construct a broad texture database,
  • and help our customers develop their own formulations.

A trained panel and validated methods for reliable results

Our sensory panel brings together over a dozen trained staff members, both men and women. They test new formulations approximately twice a week. The assessments are carried out using specific protocols and standardized procedures, and the results are statistically analyzed.

technician applying topical formula on left index

Tests cover vision and touch, and they evaluate the following criteria:


Immediate contact

Upon application

After absorption

  • Visual criteria
  • pick-up
  • texture
  • creaminess
  • spreadability
  • tackiness
  • play time
  • greasiness
  • softness
  • absorption
  • residual film
  • tackiness
  • greasy after-feel
  • soft after-feel
  • shine

The power of sensorial mapping

This sensorial map shows the results with cream formulations formulated with different Gattefossé pharmaceutical-grade emulsifiers. It enables direct and visual comparison and can help to select the emulsifier or appropriate prototype formulation.