History of Curion

The thought was that no amount of scientific or technical training equaled that of the actual consumer.

At the time, other descriptive analysis methods relied on technical experts whose judgments were consensus-based, not statistically quantifiable. Thus, the birth of Quantitative Descriptive Analysis (QDA)®.

In the mid-60’s Dr. Herbert Stone, a food scientist at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in Palo Alto, California, began research to address this reliance on the expert. In the early 70’s he was joined by Mr. Joel Sidel, a psychologist, and together they researched how consumers described products using a sensory language. Their research methodology focused on the limitations associated with the use of Texture Profile and Flavor Profile methods, the two most commonly used methods of that time.

Their backgrounds were uniquely synergistic for understanding how consumers perceived similarities and differences in food and other consumer products, and the concept of “Getting inside the mind of the consumer®” was born.

Curion History

Biographical Sketch of Joel L. Sidel

Joel L. Sidel

Joel L. Sidel is a Senior Consultant for Curion. He co-founded Tragon in 1974, which became Curion in 2018. Prior to founding Tragon, Mr. Sidel was a Sensory Scientist with Stanford Research Institute (SRI International), where he and his associates developed the Quantitative Descriptive Analysis (QDA) method of Sensory Analysis.

Before joining SRI, he was Head of Sensory Evaluation at Hunt-Wesson Foods and was Acting Head of the Food Acceptance Laboratory at the U.S. Army Natick Research and Development Command. Mr. Sidel received his BA in Psychology from Clark University, and his MA in Psychology from Northeastern University.

He has authored over 100 technical publications and planning reports on the subject of Sensory Evaluation and Consumer Research, including co-author of the book “Sensory Evaluation Practices” published by Academic Press in 1985, 1993, and 2004.

Mr. Sidel has a well-established reputation in the field of Sensory Evaluation and has been an invited speaker at numerous international conferences on the topic, as well as an invited guest lecturer at numerous domestic and international universities.

Mr. Sidel served for several years on the Industry Advisory Council for the Food Science and Technology Department of the University of California, Davis, and the Institute of Food Science and Engineering for Texas A&M University. He was a co-founder of the Sensory Evaluation Division of the Institute of Food Technology (IFT), and an active participant on IFT committees and several other professional organizations. He has been a reviewer for Food Technology and served on the editorial board of the Journal of Sensory Studies.